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Title:
EDDY CURRENT CYCLING RESISTANCE APPARATUS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/051332
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
of the Disclosure A cycling resistance apparatus includes an adjustment mechanism configured to be attached to a frame, such as a stationary frame or the frame of a bicycle, and a magnet assembly attached to the adjustment mechanism. The adjustment mechanism is configured to position magnets of the magnet assembly at an active position so that a face of each magnet is positioned within a diameter of a bicycle tire and within a width of the bicycle tire, so as to be adjacent an electrically conductive rim of the bicycle wheel. When in the active position, the one or more magnets of the magnet assembly induce eddy currents in the electrically conductive rim of the wheel to provide resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame.

Inventors:
BUCKRELL, Andrew James Michael (154 Steepleridge Street, Kitchener, Ontario N2P 2W2, N2P 2W2, CA)
HARE, Arthur William (315 Margaret Ave, Apt 106Kitchener, Ontario N2H 6S5, N2H 6S5, CA)
PETERSON, Sean Daniel (1921 Line 45, Gads Hill, Ontario N0K 1J0, N0K 1J0, CA)
Application Number:
IB2016/055643
Publication Date:
March 30, 2017
Filing Date:
September 21, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
BUCKRELL PETERSON HARE SPORTS TECHNOLOGY AND ATHLETICS CONSULTING, INC. (154 Steepleridge Street, Kitchener, Ontario N2P 2W2, N2P 2W2, CA)
International Classes:
A63B69/16; A63B21/005; A63B22/06
Foreign References:
TWM488333U2014-10-21
US8979715B22015-03-17
US3885814A1975-05-27
US9149702B22015-10-06
US7314434B22008-01-01
Other References:
See also references of EP 3352866A4
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SMITH, Ryan T. et al. (Perry + Currier, 1300 Yonge StreetSuite 50, Toronto Ontario M4T 1X3, M4T 1X3, CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cycling resistance apparatus comprising:

an adjustment mechanism configured to be attached to a frame, a wheel of a bicycle rotatably mounted with respect to the frame, the wheel having an electrically conductive rim and a tire mounted to the electrically conductive rim; and a magnet assembly attached to the adjustment mechanism, the magnet assembly having at least one magnet;

the adjustment mechanism configured to position the at least one magnet of the magnet assembly at an active position in which a face of the at least one magnet is positioned within a diameter of the tire and positioned within a width of the tire to be adjacent the electrically conductive rim of the wheel;

the at least one magnet of the magnet assembly when in the active position configured to induce eddy currents in the electrically conductive rim of the wheel to provide resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the adjustment mechanism comprises a pair of caliper arms pivot connected to at least one pivot point, and wherein the apparatus comprises a pair of opposing magnet assemblies that include the magnet assembly, each magnet assembly of the pair of opposing magnet assemblies connected to a free end of a different one of the pair of caliper arms.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the adjustment mechanism further comprises a quick release mechanism configured to lock and unlock rotation of the caliper arms.

4. The apparatus of claim 2, further comprising a mounting component configured to attach the adjustment mechanism to the frame and to provide linear adjustable positioning of the pair of caliper arms with respect to the wheel.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the adjustment mechanism comprises at least one caliper arm pivot connected to at least one pivot point, and wherein the magnet assembly comprises a magnet holder that holds a plurality of magnets including the at least one magnet, the magnet holder being connected to a free end of the at least one caliper arm.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the magnet holder is rotatably connected to the free end of the at least one caliper arm.

7. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the plurality of magnets is arranged in an arc having a diameter consistent with a diameter of the electrically conductive rim.

8. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein magnets of the plurality of magnets are individually removably connected to the magnet holder.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a stationary frame as the frame, the stationary frame configured to rotatably support the bicycle wheel above a surface.

10. The apparatus of claim 9, wherein the stationary frame comprises at least one pair of support legs including a fixed support leg and a collapsible support leg, the adjustment mechanism being connected to the fixed support leg, the collapsible support leg rotatably connected to the fixed support leg between a standing configuration and a storage

configuration, the collapsible support leg shaped to define an internal volume that

accommodates at least a portion of the fixed support leg in the storage configuration.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the fixed support leg and the collapsible support leg are rotatably connected at a pivot connection.

12. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the fixed support leg comprises a plurality of pivot connections for receiving connection of the collapsible support leg to allow for adjustment to the standing configuration of the stationary frame.

13. The apparatus of claim 10, further comprising two opposing pairs of support legs including the at least one pair of support legs and further comprising a cross-member between lower ends of fixed support legs of the two opposing pairs of support legs.

14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the frame is a bicycle frame of the bicycle, and the apparatus provides for resistance training during riding.

15. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a weight configured to be held between spokes of the wheel, the weight being shaped to fit within a V-shaped volume defined by the spokes extending from the electrically conductive rim of the wheel to a hub of the wheel that is wider than the electrically conductive rim.

16. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the weight is a single monolithic piece.

17. The apparatus of claim 15, wherein the weight is made of non-magnetic material to avoid interaction with the at least one magnet.

18. The apparatus of claim 15, further comprising a screw configured to provide a clamping load between the weight a spoke of the wheel.

19. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a controller and an actuator, the actuator connected to the adjustment mechanism, the controller configured to control the actuator to actuate the adjustment mechanism to change the active position of the at least one magnet to controllably vary the resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame.

20. A cycling resistance apparatus comprising:

an adjustment mechanism configured to be attached to a frame, a wheel of a bicycle rotatably mounted with respect to the frame, the wheel having an electrically conductive rim, a tire being mountable to the electrically conductive rim; and a magnet assembly attached to the adjustment mechanism, the magnet assembly having at least one magnet;

the adjustment mechanism configured to position the at least one magnet of the magnet assembly at an active position configured to induce eddy currents in the electrically conductive rim of the wheel to provide resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame without requiring any corresponding magnets to be attached to the rim, tire, or wheel of the bicycle.

21. The apparatus of claim 20, further comprising a stationary frame as the frame, the stationary frame configured to rotatably support the bicycle wheel above a surface.

22. The apparatus of claim 20, wherein the frame is a bicycle frame of the bicycle, and the apparatus provides for resistance training during riding.

23. A cycling resistance apparatus comprising:

an adjustment mechanism configured to be attached to a frame, a wheel of a bicycle rotatably mounted with respect to the frame, the bicycle having an electrically conductive rotational component as part of the wheel or attached to the wheel, the electrically conductive rotational component configured for normal operation of the bicycle; and

a magnet assembly attached to the adjustment mechanism, the magnet assembly having at least one magnet;

the adjustment mechanism configured to position the at least one magnet of the magnet assembly at an active position configured to induce eddy currents in the electrically conductive rotational component of the bicycle to provide resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame without requiring any corresponding magnets to be attached to the rim, tire, or wheel of the bicycle.

24. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the electrically conductive rotational component is a rim of the wheel.

25. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the electrically conductive rotational component is a disc of a disc brake.

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 20 January 2017 (20.01.2017)

1. A cycling resistance apparatus comprising:

an adjustment mechanism configured to be attached to a frame, a wheel of a bicycle rotatably mounted with respect to the frame, the wheel having an electrically conductive rim and a tire mounted to the electrically conductive rim; and a magnet assembly attached to the adjustment mechanism, the magnet assembly having at least one magnet;

the adjustment mechanism configured to position the at least one magnet of the magnet assembly at an active position in which a face of the at least one magnet is positioned within a diameter of the tire and positioned within a width of the tire to be adjacent the electrically conductive rim of the wheel;

the at least one magnet of the magnet assembly when in the active position configured to induce eddy currents in the electrically conductive rim of the wheel to provide resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the adjustment mechanism comprises a pair of caliper arms pivot connected to at least one pivot point, and wherein the apparatus comprises a pair of opposing magnet assemblies that include the magnet assembly, each magnet assembly of the pair of opposing magnet assemblies connected to a free end of a different one of the pair of caliper arms.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the adjustment mechanism further comprises a quick release mechanism configured to lock and unlock rotation of the caliper arms.

4. The apparatus of claim 2, further comprising a mounting component configured to attach the adjustment mechanism to the frame and to provide linear adjustable positioning of the pair of caliper arms with respect to the wheel.

5. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the pair of caliper arms are configured to adjust the active position by adjusting a distance between the at least one magnet and the electrically conductive rim of the wheel in a direction of an axis of rotation of the wheel, so as to allow varying of the resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the adjustment mechanism is configured to accommodate the tire being wider than the rim.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the adjustment mechanism comprises at least one caliper arm pivot connected to at least one pivot point, and wherein the magnet assembly comprises a magnet holder that holds a plurality of magnets including the at least one magnet, the magnet holder being connected to a free end of the at least one caliper arm.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the magnet holder is rotatably connected to the free end of the at least one caliper arm for rotation into a storage configuration.

9. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the plurality of magnets is arranged in an arc having a diameter consistent with a diameter of the electrically conductive rim.

10. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein magnets of the plurality of magnets are individually removably connected to the magnet holder.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a stationary frame as the frame, the stationary frame configured to rotatably support the bicycle wheel above a surface.

12. The apparatus of claim 11, wherein the stationary frame comprises at least one pair of support legs including a fixed support leg and a collapsible support leg, the adjustment mechanism being connected to the fixed support leg, the collapsible support leg rotatably connected to the fixed support leg between a standing configuration and a storage

configuration, the collapsible support leg shaped to define an internal volume that

accommodates at least a portion of the fixed support leg in the storage configuration.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the fixed support leg and the collapsible support leg are rotatably connected at a pivot connection.

14. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the fixed support leg comprises a plurality of pivot connections for receiving connection of the collapsible support leg to allow for adjustment to the standing configuration of the stationary frame.

15. The apparatus of claim 12, further comprising two opposing pairs of support legs including the at least one pair of support legs and further comprising a cross-member between lower ends of fixed support legs of the two opposing pairs of support legs.

16. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the collapsible support leg and the fixed support leg comprise tubing.

17. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the frame is a bicycle frame of the bicycle, and the apparatus provides for resistance training during riding.

18. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least one weight attached to the wheel to simulate road feel.

19. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the at least one weight is configured to be held between spokes of the wheel, the at least one weight being shaped to fit within a V-shaped volume defined by the spokes extending from the electrically conductive rim of the wheel to a hub of the wheel that is wider than the electrically conductive rim.

20. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein each weight of the at least one weight is a single monolithic piece.

21. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the at least one weight is made of non-magnetic material to avoid interaction with the at least one magnet.

22. The apparatus of claim 18, further comprising a screw configured to provide a clamping load between the at least one weight and a spoke of the wheel.

23. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a controller and an actuator, the actuator connected to the adjustment mechanism, the controller configured to control the actuator to actuate the adjustment mechanism to change the active position of the at least one magnet to controllably vary the resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame.

24. A cycling resistance apparatus comprising:

an adjustment mechanism configured to be attached to a frame, a wheel of a bicycle rotatably mounted with respect to the frame, the wheel having an electrically conductive rim, a tire being mountable to the electrically conductive rim; and a magnet assembly attached to the adjustment mechanism, the magnet assembly having at least one magnet;

the adjustment mechanism configured to position the at least one magnet of the magnet assembly at an active position configured to induce eddy currents in the electrically conductive rim of the wheel to provide resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame without requiring any corresponding magnets to be attached to the rim, tire, or wheel of the bicycle, the adjustment mechanism configured to adjust the active position by adjusting a distance between the at least one magnet and the electrically conductive rim of the wheel in a direction of an axis of rotation of the wheel, so as to allow varying of the resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame.

25. The apparatus of claim 24, further comprising a stationary frame as the frame, the stationary frame configured to rotatably support the bicycle wheel above a surface.

26. The apparatus of claim 24, wherein the frame is a bicycle frame of the bicycle, and the apparatus provides for resistance training during riding.

27. A cycling resistance apparatus comprising:

an adjustment mechanism configured to be attached to a frame, a wheel of a bicycle rotatably mounted with respect to the frame, the bicycle having an electrically conductive rotational component as part of the wheel or attached to the wheel, the electrically conductive rotational component configured for normal operation of the bicycle; and a magnet assembly attached to the adjustment mechanism, the magnet assembly having at least one magnet;

the adjustment mechanism configured to position the at least one magnet of the magnet assembly at an active position configured to induce eddy currents in the electrically conductive rotational component of the bicycle to provide resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame without requiring any corresponding magnets to be attached to a rim, a tire, or the wheel of the bicycle, the adjustment mechanism configured to adjust the active position by adjusting a distance between the at least one magnet and the electrically conductive rotational component in a direction of an axis of rotation of the wheel, so as to allow varying of the resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame.

28. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the electrically conductive rotational component is a rim of the wheel.

29. The apparatus of claim 27, wherein the electrically conductive rotational component is a disc of a disc brake.

Description:
Eddy Current Cycling Resistance Apparatus Cross-reference to Related Applications

[0001] This application claims priority to US 62/221,928, filed Sep. 22, 2015, which is incorporated herein by reference.

Field

[0002] This disclosure relates to cycling resistance apparatuses, more specifically, to cycling resistance apparatuses that use eddy currents to provide resistance.

Background

[0003] During the training process for cyclists, or during rehabilitation from injury, cyclists are often required to spend a large amount of time using an "indoor trainer", i.e., a resistance apparatus designed to simulate load experienced by the cyclist on the road. Resistance apparatuses provide a training environment which allows for off-season, poor weather, and/or controlled exercise.

[0004] Some indoor trainers allow the cyclist to use his or her own bicycle for training. These apparatuses generally fall into two categories: those driven by the rear wheel, or main drive wheel of the bicycle, and those driven directly by the drive chain, which requires mounting the bicycle to a dedicated sprocket and stand. Many of these devices have drawbacks that include increased tire wear, loud operating noise levels, difficulty in mounting/dismounting the bicycle from the device, and high cost.

[0005] I n addition to indoor training, many cyclists ride in outdoor groups for training purposes. As the size of the group increases, the likelihood of riders being either significantly faster or slower than the bulk of the group increases. As a result, these riders may be frustrated by the inability to keep up with the group, or are alternately frustrated by the inability to get a good workout due to the perceived slow pace required to remain with the group. In order to combat this, use of electric assist has been proposed to help slower riders keep pace with faster riders. However, electric assist devices are costly, potentially heavy, can be difficult to install and remove, and often disqualify the use of a bike for competition.

Summary

[0006] According to an aspect of the present invention, a cycling resistance apparatus includes an adjustment mechanism configured to be attached to a frame, such as a stationary frame or the frame of a bicycle, and a magnet assembly attached to the adjustment mechanism. The adjustment mechanism is configured to position one or more magnets of the magnet assembly at an active position so that a face of each magnet is positioned within a diameter of a bicycle tire and within a width of the bicycle tire, so as to be adjacent an electrically conductive rim of the bicycle wheel. When in the active position, the one or more magnets of the magnet assembly induce eddy currents in the electrically conductive rim of the wheel to provide resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame.

[0007] According to another aspect of the present invention, a cycling resistance apparatus includes an adjustment mechanism configured to be attached to a frame, a wheel of a bicycle being rotatably mounted with respect to the frame. The wheel has an electrically conductive rim, and a tire is mountable to the electrically conductive rim. The apparatus further includes a magnet assembly attached to the adjustment mechanism, the magnet assembly having at least one magnet. The adjustment mechanism is configured to position the at least one magnet of the magnet assembly at an active position configured to induce eddy currents in the electrically conductive rim of the wheel to provide resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame without requiring any corresponding magnets to be attached to the rim, tire, or wheel of the bicycle.

[0008] According to another aspect of the present invention, a cycling resistance apparatus includes an adjustment mechanism configured to be attached to a frame, a wheel of a bicycle being rotatably mounted with respect to the frame. The bicycle has an electrically conductive rotational component as part of the wheel or attached to the wheel. The electrically conductive rotational component is configured for normal operation of the bicycle. The apparatus further includes a magnet assembly attached to the adjustment mechanism, the magnet assembly having at least one magnet. The adjustment mechanism is configured to position the at least one magnet of the magnet assembly at an active position configured to induce eddy currents in the electrically conductive rotational component of the bicycle to provide resistance against rotation of the wheel in the frame without requiring any corresponding magnets to be attached to the rim, tire, or wheel of the bicycle.

[0009] The interaction between the magnet assembly and the rotating rim, or other rotational component, results in eddy currents generated within the bicycle rim or other rotational component, and subsequently a reactive force retarding the rotation of the wheel. The nature of the present invention requires no direct contact with the bicycle rim, tire, or wheel, and the retardation force can be manipulated by changing the active position by adjusting magnet proximity to the rim or other rotational component, by selecting the number of magnets used and/or the field strength of the magnets, by controlling the relative speed between the rim or other rotational component and the magnets, in addition to controlling parameters such as the size, shape, and/or composition of the bicycle rim or other rotational component. Suitable bicycle rims and rotational components include those made of steel, copper, aluminum, alloys thereof, and other electrically conductive materials. The invention is applicable to the majority of currently available bicycle rims, which tend to be constructed of extruded aluminum, as well as to many currently available disc brakes, which tend to be made of steel. The power absorbed by the resistance is mainly dissipated through heating of the rim or other rotational component, with heat then being transferred into the surrounding air. Due to lack of direct contact with the bicycle rim or other rotational component, there may be less additional noise generated by the apparatus, there may be no additional tire wear, and construction costs may be reduced due to a lack of moving parts.

[0010] Depending on rider preference, additional inertia or "effective inertia" may be required to maintain a substantially constant wheel speed between pedal strokes, thereby moderating the fluctuations in energy dissipation rate, or power, absorbed by the resistance apparatus. Real inertia can be added via mass within the system, such as a flywheel or additional weights added to the wheel and tire assembly. Effective inertia can be created by controlling the eddy current resistance via dynamic manipulation of magnetic field location or orientation or magnetic field strength, which can be performed during a single wheel rotation, a single pedal rotation, or over the course of multiple pedal rotations.

[0011] The cycling resistance apparatus can include a stationary frame that supports the bicycle or can be mounted to the frame of the bicycle itself. In the latter case, the apparatus can be provided to the drive wheel or a non-driven wheel. During operation, the apparatus may be adjusted directly by the rider, or by an actuator, so that the desired additional resistance is achieved by manipulating the magnetic interaction with the rotating rim. This allows for outdoor usage in group rides with the effect of "handicapping" faster riders.

[0012] These and other aspects of the present invention will be discussed in detail below. Brief Description of the Drawings

[0013] The drawings illustrate, by way of example only, embodiments of the present disclosure.

[0014] FIG. 1 is a perspective diagram of a cycling resistance apparatus with a stationary frame and with a bicycle mounted.

[0015] FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view at a rim of a bicycle wheel.

[0016] FIG. 3 is a perspective diagram of the cycling resistance apparatus with the stationary frame.

[0017] FIG. 4 is a perspective diagram of the adjustment mechanism and the magnet assemblies.

[0018] FIG. 5 is a perspective diagram of the cycling resistance apparatus with the stationary frame in a standing configuration.

[0019] FIG. 6 is a perspective diagram of the cycling resistance apparatus with the stationary frame in a storage configuration. [0020] FIG. 7 is a perspective diagram of a magnet assembly.

[0021] FIG. 8 is a perspective diagram of a cycling resistance apparatus mounted to a bicycle.

[0022] FIG. 9 is a perspective diagram of a weight.

[0023] FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram of securing the weight to the wheel.

[0024] FIG. 11 is a perspective diagram of the weight installed on the wheel.

[0025] FIG. 12 is a perspective diagram of another cycling resistance apparatus.

[0026] FIG. 13 is a block diagram of a control system for a cycling resistance apparatus.

[0027] FIG. 14 is a schematic diagram of magnetic flux lines of magnets arranged in a Halbach array.

[0028] FIG. 15 is a schematic diagram of magnetic flux lines of magnets arranged in an alternating N-S arrangement.

[0029] FIG. 16 is a perspective diagram of another cycling resistance apparatus for use with a disc brake.

[0030] FIGs. 17a and 17b are perspective diagrams of the cycling resistance apparatus of FIG. 8.

[0031] FIG. 18 is a perspective diagram of another cycling resistance apparatus that includes a flywheel.

Detailed Description

[0032] FIG. 1 shows a cycling resistance apparatus 10 with a stationary frame 12 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The rider's own bicycle 14 is connected to the apparatus 10 to allow for in-place training. The stationary frame 12 supports the rear or drive wheel 16 of the bicycle 14 above the floor, ground, or other surface 18. The wheel 16 is rotatably mounted with respect to the frame 12 by way of clamp members 20 that thread through threaded holes 22 in the stationary frame 12 and engage with the lock nuts or other structural elements at the bicycle's rear hub to support at least the rear of the bicycle 14 above the floor 18 while permitting the rear wheel 16 to rotate normally.

[0033] The wheel 16 of the bicycle 14 has an electrically conductive rim 30, such as a conventional aluminum rim, with a tire 32 mounted to the rim 30 as conventional for normal riding of the bicycle on roads, tracks, or other locations. The rim 30 can be any suitable electrically conductive material, with aluminum, steel, copper, and alloys thereof being examples. The tire 32 need not be mounted to the rim 30 for the apparatus 10 to function.

[0034] The cycling resistance apparatus 10 includes an adjustment mechanism 40 attached to the frame and at least one magnet assembly 42 attached to the adjustment mechanism 40. The magnet assembly 42 has at least one magnet. In this embodiment, two opposing magnet assemblies 42 and 44 (hidden in this view; see FIG. 3) are used, each having a plurality of magnets.

[0035] The adjustment mechanism 40 is configured to position the magnet assemblies 42, and the magnets carried thereby, at an active position close to the rim 30. When in the active position, the magnet assembly 42 induces eddy currents in the electrically conductive rim 30 of the bicycle wheel 16 to provide resistance against rotation of the wheel 16. Moreover, suitable resistance can be provided by the apparatus 10 without any magnets required to be attached to the rim, tire, or wheel of the bicycle, as is needed in some conventional systems. In other embodiments, the active position is close to another electrically conductive rotational component of the bicycle, such as a rotating disc of a disc brake. In any event, the electrically conductive rotational component of the bicycle, be it a rim, disc, or other component, is a component of the bicycle that is normally part of the bicycle and that is not specifically added to the bicycle for use with the apparatus.

[0036] In operation, the rider uses the adjustment mechanism 40 to position the magnet assemblies 42 relative to the rim to set the desired resistance and pedals the bicycle normally, whether using the apparatus with a stationary frame or during an actual ride with the apparatus attached to the bicycle. Control of the adjustment mechanism 40 can be manual, automatically electrically controlled, or some combination of such.

[0037] The active position is shown in detail in FIG. 2. In the active position, a rim-facing face 50 of each magnet 52 is located at a position within an inner diameter D of the bicycle tire 32, as measured from the axis of rotation A, and also within a width W of the tire 32 (as measured when inflated to manufacturer recommended pressure), so as to be adjacent the corresponding side surface 54 of the electrically conductive rim 30. The resistance generated by the apparatus is proportional to the degree of adjacency, and the degree of adjacency of the face 50 of each magnet 52 to the rim 30 of the wheel 16 can be selected, adjusted, and/or controlled to provide suitable eddy current resistance against rotation of the wheel 16. For sake of this disclosure, adjacency is defined as anywhere between the width W of the tire 32 and the width R of the rim 30, without physically contacting the rim 30. In other words, the gap G between the face 50 of each magnet 52 and the side surface 54 of the rim 30 of the wheel 16 is enough to provide the desired eddy current resistance, which is contemplated to depend on the level of workout required by the rider. However, a gap G of some degree should exist and the magnets 52 should not physically contact the rim 30. It is contemplated that the active position can be varied to some degree and need not be precisely as described above, particularity when narrow tires are used. Further, the apparatus 10 can be used with the stationary frame with the tire removed. Hence, it should be understood that the active position is a position of the magnets of the one or more magnet assemblies 42 that provides resistance against rotation of the wheel without requiring any corresponding magnets to be attached to the rim, tire, or wheel.

[0038] As shown in FIG. 3, in this embodiment, the adjustment mechanism 40 includes a pair of caliper arms 60, 62 that are pivot connected to a load cell 64 at a pivot point 66. The load cell 64 is connected to the frame 12 via a mounting component 68, such as a plate that is welded to the frame 12. In other embodiments, the load cell is replaced with a simple structural member. A bolt can be provided as the pivot point 66, with the caliper arms 60, 62 being pivotable about the bolt. However, this is not limiting and different pivot structures can be used, including using separate pivot points for each caliper arm. Further, in other

embodiments, other mechanisms instead of or in addition to one or more caliper arms can be used for the adjustment mechanism 40.

[0039] I n this embodiment, the adjustment mechanism 40 further includes a quick release mechanism 70 configured to lock and unlock rotation of the caliper arms 60, 62. For example, a cam-type quick release handle can be used. In other embodiments, the rotation of the caliper arms 60, 62 is controlled by a manual actuator (e.g., a lever, knob, etc. ) or an electromechanical actuator, such actuator being directly manually controlled by a rider or controlled by a controller either automatically or under the control of the rider.

[0040] Each magnet assembly 42, 44 is connected to a free end of a different caliper arm 60, 62 opposite the end connected to the pivot point 66. The free end is not necessarily the extremity of the caliper arm, as additional length of caliper arm may be provided for various purposes such as to mount a sensor.

[0041] The rotation of the caliper arms 60, 62 can be controlled to bring the magnet assembly 42, 44 to their active positions to generate suitable eddy current resistance and to withdraw the magnet assembly 42, 44 away from the rim 30 so as to provide clearance to easily remove the wheel 16 (at its widest point, e.g., the tire) from the apparatus 10. The quick release mechanism 70 allows for easy manual adjustment of the active position to customize the degree of eddy current resistance provided. In other embodiments, controller-actuated adjustments can be used to dynamically modify the degree of eddy current resistance.

[0042] FIG. 4 shows a closer view of the adjustment mechanism 40 and the magnet assemblies 42, 44.

[0043] As can be seen, the mounting component 68 connects the load cell 64 and attached caliper arms 60, 62 to a support leg 80 of the frame 12. In this embodiment, the mounting component 68 includes a flat plate that is welded to the support leg 80 and that includes a linear slot 82 for receiving and guiding a pair of screws 84 or similar structure threaded into or otherwise attached to the body of the load cell 64. The screws 84 connect the load cell body to the mounting component 68 and provide linear adjustable positioning of the pair of caliper arms 60, 62 with respect to apparatus 10 and thus the bicycle wheel. That is, the screws 84 can be loosened to allow the linear position X of the caliper arms 60, 62 to be adjusted before being tightened to fix the caliper arms 60, 62 in position. This can allow the apparatus 10 to accommodate different wheel diameters. Other fastening techniques to facilitate sliding within the slotted plate or other mounting component 68 are contemplated. In other embodiments, a simple non-load-sensing beam or similar mounting structure that retains a generally fixed mounting point is used instead of a load cell.

[0044] Further, in this embodiment, each magnet assembly 42, 44 include a magnet holder 90 that is rotatably connected to the free end of the respective caliper arm 60, 62 at a respective pivot point 86, which can be defined by a screw, bolt, pin, or similar structure. This allows the magnet assemblies 42, 44 to accommodate various wheel styles and/or to swivel from the active position to a compact storage position (see FIG. 6). A locking element 88, such as a manually actuatable spring-loaded locking pin, is provided to hold the respective magnet assembly 42, 44 at a fixed position relative to the respective caliper arm 60, 62. In this embodiment, the spring-loaded locking pin 88 is biased against the end of the caliper arm 60, 62 to engage a hole in the body of the magnet holder 90. Pulling the spring-loaded locking pin 88 releases the end of the pin from the hole, allowing the magnet holder 42, 44 to swivel.

[0045] Each magnet holder 90 holds a plurality of magnets 52. Magnets 52 can be affixed to the magnet holders 90 by fastening features, such as clips, indents, interference fits, screws, clamps, or similar or by permanent techniques, such as thermal bonding, adhesive, or similar. In this embodiment, the magnets 52 are individually removably connected to the magnet holders 90 in order to permit addition and removal of magnets 52 so that resistance can be further customized.

[0046] In addition, in this embodiment, the magnets 52 of each magnet assembly 42, 44 are arranged in an arc having a diameter consistent with the diameter D of the electrically conductive rim 30. That is, the diameter of the arcuate path on which the magnets 52 are arranged is selected to accommodate the expected diameter or diameter range of bicycle rims to be used with the apparatus 10. This arc-shaped arrangement of magnets advantageously increases the maximum possible eddy current resistance that can be generated by the apparatus and keeps the overall apparatus compact with respect to conventional systems. In other embodiments, other magnet arrangements, such as linear arrangements, can be used. Moreover, when used with a rotational component of smaller diameter, such as a disc brake, the arrangement of magnets can follow a correspondingly tighter arc.

[0047] FIG. 5 shows the apparatus 10 set up in the standing configuration and ready for use. The stationary frame 12 includes at least one pair of support legs including a fixed support leg 80 and a collapsible support leg 100. In this embodiment, two pairs of such support legs are provided on opposite sides of the wheel with a cross-member 102 rigidly connecting the lower ends of the fixed support legs 80 together. The fixed support legs 80 and cross-member 102 thus form a U-shaped sub-frame to which the adjustment mechanism 40 is connected.

[0048] Each collapsible support leg 100 is rotatably connected to one of the fixed support legs 80 at an upper end of the fixed support leg 80. This pivot connection is made by a bolt 104 that extends through holes provided in the upper ends of the fixed support leg 80 and the collapsible support leg 100. In other embodiments, other structures can be used to provide the rotatable connection of the collapsible support leg 100 to the fixed support leg 80.

[0049] To facilitate compact collapse of the stationary frame 12 for storage, each collapsible support leg 100 is shaped to sheath the respective fixed support leg 80. That is, the collapsible support leg 100 defines an internal volume 106 that accommodates at least a portion of the fixed support leg 80. In this embodiment, the legs 80, 100 are made from round metal tubing, with the collapsible support legs 100 having a larger diameter than the fixed support legs 80. In other embodiments, other shapes of tubing (e.g., rectangular) can be used. Further, the tubing of each collapsible support leg 100 is cut away on a cut line 108 that can follow any suitable path, so as to create an opening to the internal volume 106 of the collapsible support leg 100. The cut line 108 extends longitudinally along the collapsible support leg 100 to open the internal volume 106. The cut line 108 may have a circumferential component, as shown, to remove excess material that may cause pinch points when the frame 12 is collapsed, while leaving enough material to provide suitable strength for the collapsible support leg 100.

[0050] An abutting portion 110 of each collapsible support leg 100 defines the extent of rotation of the collapsible support leg 100 with respect to the fixed support leg 80. A stopper portion 112 located at an upper end of each collapsible support leg 100 and opposite the abutting portion 110 provides increased resistance to over-rotation of the collapsible support leg 100. The lower end 114 of the collapsible support leg 100 is left with a full diameter of tube for strength against local deformation.

[0051] FIG. 6 shows the apparatus 10 in the collapsed storage configuration. The stationary frame 12 has been folded so that each fixed support leg 80 is sheathed inside the respective collapsible support leg 100. In addition, the magnet assemblies 42, 44 are swivelled from the active position to the storage position.

[0052] Referring back to FIG. 5, in some embodiments, a series of holes 120 is provided to each fixed support leg 80 to define a plurality of pivot connections for receiving connection of the respective collapsible support leg 100 to allow for adjustment to the standing configuration. That is, a particular hole 120 in each fixed support leg 80 can be selected to receive the bolt 104 connection of the collapsible support leg 100, thereby providing for further customizability of the apparatus for various bike and body shapes and rider preferences.

[0053] Detail of a magnet assembly 42, 44 according to this embodiment is shown in FIG. 7. The magnet assembly 42, 44 include an arc-shaped holder 130 defining a trough 132 into which magnets 52 are situated (one shown in place, others removed). Protruding spacers 134 can be provided in the trough 132 to allow for improved securement of the magnets 52 and for the ability to individually add and remove magnets 52.

[0054] FIG. 8 shows another embodiment of the cycling resistance apparatus 200 according to the present invention. The cycling resistance apparatus 200 is mounted to a bicycle frame, so that the bicycle may be ridden with increased resistance. Other features and aspects of the cycling resistance apparatus 200 are the same or similar to the cycling resistance apparatus 10 discussed above. The above description can be referenced, with like reference numerals denoting like components.

[0055] The cycling resistance apparatus 200 includes a mounting clamp 202 that clamps to the bicycle frame 204 to position an adjustment mechanism 206 and the magnet assemblies 42, 44 relative to one of the bicycle wheels, not necessarily the drive wheel. The principles of operation and adjustment are the same as described above. The rider may adjust the resistance during a ride by manually actuating the adjustment mechanism 206, which can include a quick release mechanism 70 or similar. In other embodiments, the apparatus is additionally or alternatively configured for controller-actuated adjustments to dynamically modify the degree of eddy current resistance. Addition and removal of magnets is also an option to vary resistance. Further detail of the cycling resistance apparatus 200 is shown in FIGs. 17a and 17b.

[0056] With reference back to FIG. 3, one or more weights 300 can be provided for use with the cycling resistance apparatus 10. The weights 300 help simulate "road feel", which often requires using a flywheel in conventional resistance trainers. Note that road feel corresponds to effective or actual inertia approaching or exceeding that which a rider would experience while cycling outdoors.

[0057] As shown in FIGs. 9 - 11, the weight 300 is shaped to be held between spokes 302 of the wheel 16. The weight 300 is shaped to fit within the generally V-shaped volume 304 defined by adjacent spokes 302 that extend from the rim 30 of the wheel 16 to the wider hub 306 of the wheel 16. Rotation of the wheel 16 causes centrifugal force to act on the weight and tend to wedge the weight 300 in place and prevent dislodgement of the weight 300 during use.

[0058] In this embodiment, the weight 300 includes a central planar portion 310 sandwiched between two side portions 312, 314. One side portion 312, is generally U-shaped to accommodate a spoke centrally aligned with the weight 300. The opposite side portion 314 has a shape that is generally complementary to the side portion 312 to accommodate two spokes adjacent the central spoke and tilted differently from the central spoke. The central planar portion 310 of the weight is circumferentially longer than the two side portions 312, 314. In this embodiment, the weight 300 is a single monolithic piece of material as opposed to several pieces of material that are bolted or otherwise connected together. Further, in some embodiments, the weight 300 is made of non-magnetic material to avoid interaction with the magnets of the apparatus 10. In still other embodiments, the weight 300 is made of magnetic material (e.g., carbon steel, etc.) and the weight 300 is positioned further from the rim 30 or other rotational component to avoid interaction with the magnets of the apparatus 10.

[0059] I n some embodiments, the weight 300 incudes one or more notches 316 to accommodate spokes. Further, in some embodiments, the weight 300 includes at least one threaded hole 318 to receive a screw to provide a clamping load between the weight 300 and at least one spoke of the wheel to hold the weight 300 in place. Further, in some embodiments, the weight 300 includes protrusions 320 to offset the weight 300 from the rim 30 of the wheel.

[0060] FIG. 12 shows another embodiment of the cycling resistance apparatus 400 according to the present invention. The cycling resistance apparatus 400 includes a controller and one or more electromechanical actuators for positioning the magnets to control resistance. Other features and aspects of the cycling resistance apparatus 400 are the same or similar to the cycling resistance apparatus 10 discussed above. The above description can be referenced, with like reference numerals denoting like components.

[0061] The adjustment mechanism 40 includes a pair of caliper arms 60, 62 that are pivotably driven by an actuator 402, such as a stepper motor, that is connected to the frame 12 via the load cell 64 or other member. Another actuator 404, such as a stepper motor with a worm gear, is provided to drive the linear position of the adjustment mechanism 40. The actuator 404 drives the load cell 64 or other member against the mounting component 68 that is connected to the frame 12.

[0062] The actuators 402, 404 are connected to a controller housed in an electronics housing 406. The controller is configured to control the actuators 402, 404 to actuate the adjustment mechanism 40 to change the active positions of the magnet assemblies 42, 44, so as to controllably vary the resistance against rotation of the wheel.

[0063] I n other embodiments, the actuator 404 is omitted and the linear position of the adjustment mechanism 40 is manually adjusted as with the apparatus 10. The rotational positions of the caliper arms 60, 62 and connected magnet assemblies 42, 44 are adjusted using the actuator 402 as controlled by the controller. In such embodiments, a quick release mechanism 70 (see FIG. 3) may be provided in addition to the actuator 402 to allow for both manual and dynamic control of the positions of the magnet assemblies 42, 44.

[0064] I n other embodiments, the adjustment mechanism 40, magnet assemblies 42, 44, one or both actuators 402, 404, and the controller are provided with a clamp 202 (see FIG. 8), such that dynamic control of resistance is provided to a bicycle-mounted cycling resistance apparatus.

[0065] FIG. 13 shows electronic components of the various embodiments discussed herein. A controller 500 can include any kind of processor, microprocessor, or similar device capable of executing instructions, processing sensor/load-cell data, and controlling actuators. Memory 502 is connected to the controller 500 to store operational instructions and data, such as actuator settings that correspond to various desired resistances. The memory 502 can further store load cell measurement values correlated to force, as the load cell 64 will deflect and register a reaction load due to forces caused by the magnet assemblies. A communications interface 504 is connected to the controller 500 to allow for input commands from the rider to increase or decrease resistance and to provide information to the rider and/or to another system. The communications interface 504 is configured to connect via wires or wirelessly (e.g., ANT+, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE, etc.) to one or both of a user-interface device 506, such as a smartphone, smart watch, or cycling computer, and a remote computer device, such as a data capture server. One or more sensors 508, such as a wheel speed sensor (e.g., Hall effect sensor, optical sensor, etc. ), can be provided to capture further data that can be used by the controller 500 when adjusting resistance or that can be outputted for other purposes. With reference back to FIG. 5, the sensor 508 can be mounted to one of the caliper arms with a sensor mounting member 520. The controller 500 can be configured to correlate load cell measurements and wheel speed measurements, using one or more lookup tables 510 stored in the memory 502, to obtain cycling power values that can be outputted to the rider.

[0066] Shown in FIGs. 14 and 15 are schematic views of magnetic flux fields produced by alternate magnet orientations that can be used with the present invention. In FIG. 14, the flux field 600 is shown for a Halbach array of magnets, whereby the magnetic poles 602 are arranged as shown to provide an increased field density on one side of the magnet assembly 42, 44 while providing significantly reduced field strength on the opposing side 604. Each magnet 52 in the plurality of magnets 52 is shown to be in contact with each other in a planar arrangement, however, it is understood that each magnet 52 may be separated by some distance from each other magnet 52. It is understood that the magnet assembly 42, 44 may extend any suitable distance in the direction 606. The bicycle wheel rim 30 is shown passing through the magnetic flux field travelling in either direction, as indicated by arrows 608, 610. Although the direction of travel is shown to be parallel to the magnet assembly 42, 44, it is understood that the direction of travel 608, 610 may occur at an angle with respect to the magnet assembly 42, 44.

[0067] Alternatively, FIG. 15 shows a magnet assembly 42, 44 comprising magnetic poles 602. The magnetic poles 602 may be arranged in an alternating manner to generate a substantially equal magnetic flux field 620 on both sides of the magnet assembly 42, 44. The bicycle wheel rim 30 is rotated through the magnetic flux field 620, generating eddy currents and a resistive force. The magnet assembly 42, 44 is understood to be constructed of a plurality of magnets 52, and may extend some distance in the direction 606. It is further understood that although two exemplary arrangements of magnets are shown in FIGs. 14 and 15, the magnets 52 may be arranged in other ways.

[0068] FIG. 16 shows another embodiment of the cycling resistance apparatus 700 according to the present invention. The cycling resistance apparatus 700 interacts with a disc brake to control resistance during riding of the bicycle or while the bicycle is mounted to a stationary frame. Other features and aspects of the cycling resistance apparatus 700 are the same or similar to the cycling resistance apparatuses discussed elsewhere herein. The related description can be referenced, with like reference numerals denoting like components.

[0069] The cycling resistance apparatus 700 includes one or more magnet assemblies 42, 44 connected to an adjustment mechanism 702. The adjustment mechanism 702 is configured to attach to the frame 710 of the bicycle. The rotating disc 712 of a disc brake of the bicycle acts as the electrically conductive rotational component that magnetically interacts with the one or more magnet assemblies 42, 44, which may be located on one side or on opposite sides of the disc 712. The adjustment mechanism 702 can include one or more lever arms, such as one or more caliper arms, a ball and slot structure, or similar. The adjustment mechanism positions magnets of the magnet assembly 42, 44 at an active position to induce eddy currents in the disc 712 of the disc brake to provide resistance against rotation of the wheel. The adjustment mechanism 702 can be configured for manual control, for electromechanical control by a controller, or both, as discussed elsewhere herein.

[0070] FIGs. 17a and 17b show the cycling resistance apparatus 200 of FIG. 8. The magnet assembly 42 is connected to the adjustment mechanism 206, which includes a ball and slot adjustment structure that includes a ball 210 that is slidable within a slot 212. The ball 210 is connected to the magnet assembly 42 and is held in the slot 212 by an adjustment screw 214 that threads into the ball and abuts the opposite side of the slot 212. When the adjustment screw 214 is loosened, the ball 210 can be moved in the slot 212 to change its position. This can be used to adjust the distance of the magnet assembly 42 to the wheel rim or other electrically conductive rotational component of the bicycle along an axis 216, and thus adjust the resistance provided by the apparatus 200. Further, the magnet assembly 42 can be rotatably connected to the adjustment mechanism 206 at a pivot point, such as a bolt, pin, or similar to permit rotation of the magnet assembly 42 about the axis 216. Such rotation can facilitate moving the magnet assembly 42 into and out of the active position adjacent the rim or other rotation component of the bicycle wheel.

[0071] The mounting clamp 202 of the cycling resistance apparatus 200 includes a pair of opposing clamp members 220. One clamp member 220 is connected to the adjustment mechanism 206, specifically the member the defines the slot 212, and the other clamp member 220 is used to straddle a portion of the bicycle frame. The clamp member 220 are connected together by bolts through holes, or other type of fastener, so as to sandwich the portion of the frame to which the apparatus is attached to secure the cycling resistance apparatus 200 to the bicycle.

[0072] FIG. 18 shows another embodiment of the cycling resistance apparatus 800 according to the present invention. The cycling resistance apparatus 800 includes a flywheel. Other features and aspects of the cycling resistance apparatus 800 are the same or similar to the cycling resistance apparatuses discussed elsewhere herein. The related description can be referenced, with like reference numerals denoting like components.

[0073] The apparatus 800 includes a stationary frame 802 to which one or more magnet assemblies 804 are attached. Each magnet assembly 804 is connected to the stationary frame 802 via a support arm 806 and a mount 808 that form an adjustment mechanism. In this embodiment, two opposing magnet assemblies 804 are used, one on each side of the bicycle wheel rim 30. The mount 808 is configured to adjust the position of the support arms 806 and magnet assemblies 804 with respect to the rim 30. The adjustment mechanism can be configured for manual control, for electromechanical control by a controller, or both, as discussed elsewhere herein. The apparatus 800, by virtue of the one or more magnet assemblies 804, generates cycling resistance by way of inducing eddy currents in the rim 30, as discussed elsewhere herein.

[0074] The apparatus 800 further includes a flywheel assembly 810 rotationally mounted to the stationary frame 802. The flywheel assembly 810 includes a flywheel 812 and a plurality of magnets 814 mounted to the flywheel 812. In this embodiment, the magnets 814 are mounted along a perimeter of the flywheel 812 on a surface of the flywheel 812 that faces the bicycle wheel rim 30. As the flywheel 812 rotates, magnets 814 are brought adjacent the rim 30 to induce eddy currents in the rim 30, so as to increase system inertia. The rotational axis of the flywheel 812 may be parallel to the wheel's rotation axis 820 (as depicted), perpendicular to the rotation axis 820, or at some other angle relative to the rotation axis 820. Magnetic interaction between the flywheel assembly 810 and the bicycle rim 30 stores rotational energy of the wheel, releasing additional energy when the wheel decelerates and absorbing additional energy when the wheel accelerates, thereby acting to regulate wheel speed and mitigate speed variation during pedal strokes. The flywheel assembly 810 can be used with any of the other embodiments discussed herein.

[0075] The advantages of the present invention over the prior art are numerous. For one, the rider's own bicycle can be used and the present invention does not require magnets to be installed on the bicycle. Resistance is generated by magnetic interaction that is provided through the rim or other rotational component that is normally present on the bicycle.

Moreover, when the invention is used with a stationary frame, tire wear is eliminated by virtue of the magnetic interaction with the rim or other rotational component of the bicycle being the sole source of resistance. No tire-contacting roller is needed. Elimination of tire contact means that noise is greatly reduced over conventional apparatuses. Noise is also reduced as compared to prior art designs that use complex arrangements of specialized rotating and stationary components. I n addition, the present invention is readily collapsible to a very compact form for efficient storage (e.g., under a couch).

[0076] While the foregoing provides certain non-limiting example embodiments, it should be understood that combinations, subsets, and variations of the foregoing are contemplated. The monopoly sought is defined by the claims.