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Title:
FRAME SYSTEM FOR CYCLES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1995/027648
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a frame system for cycles which includes first and second frame halves which are joined in a variety of methods. One frame half mirrors the other and will have all necessary frame components. The two frame halves can be formed by die-casting, pressing, or injection molding depending on the materials used. The frame halves can be joined by welding, bolting, gluing, or other suitable means.

Inventors:
WU DONALD P H (CN)
Application Number:
PCT/IB1995/000278
Publication Date:
October 19, 1995
Filing Date:
March 31, 1995
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
WU DONALD P H (CN)
International Classes:
B62K3/10; B62K19/10; B62K19/12; B62K19/18; (IPC1-7): B62K19/02
Foreign References:
US5011172A1991-04-30
US3233916A1966-02-08
US2537325A1951-01-09
US4548422A1985-10-22
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS:
1. A frame system for bicycles, comprising: a first frame half comprising a first head tube portion, a first seat mast portion, a first cross bar portion, a first down tube portion, a first seat stay, and a first chain stay; a second frame half comprising a second head tube portion, a second seat mast portion, a second cross bar portion, a second down tube portion, a second seat stay, and a second chain stay; a fastener to join and secure the first frame half and the second frame half together at the head tube, seat mast, cross frame, and down tube portions to form a complete bicycle frame.
2. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 1 wherein the fastener comprises an adhesive material.
3. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 1 wherein the complete bicycle frame is made of reinforced plastic and the fastener comprises an adhesive material to join and secure the first and second portions together.
4. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 1 wherein the fastener comprises a plurality of spot welds.
5. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 1 wherein the fastener comprises a plurality of ultrasonic welds.
6. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 1 wherein the fastener comprises a plurality of mechanical fasteners. /27648 PCMB95/00278 *& 11.
7. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 1 wherein the first half and the second half include a plurality of apertures, the fastener comprising a plurality of threaded mechanical fasteners threadably insertable into said apertures to secure and join the first frame half and the second frame half together to form a complete bicycle frame.
8. A frame system for bicycles according to laim 1 wherein the first half and the second half have no apertures to secure and join the first frame half and the second frame half together, and wherein only an adhesive is used to secure and join the first frame half and the second frame half together to form a complete bicycle frame.
9. A frame assembly system for cycles, comprising: a first frame half integrally formed to include a first head tube portion, a first frame tube portion, a first seat mast housing portion, a first pedal hub housing portion, a first crank shaft housing portion, and a first chain stay; a second frame half integrally formed to include a second head tube portion, a second frame tube portion, and a second seat mast housing portion, a second pedal hub housing portion, a second crank shaft housing portion, and a second chain stay; a fastener to join and secure the first frame half and the second frame half together to form a complete cycle frame.
10. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 9 wherein the fastener comprises an adhesive material.
11. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 9 wherein the complete bicycle frame is made of reinforced plastic and the fastener comprises an adhesive material to join and secure the first and second portions together.
12. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 9 wherein the fastener comprises a plurality of spot welds.
13. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 9 wherein the fastener comprises a plurality of ultrasonic welds.
14. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 9 wherein the fastener comprises a plurality of mechanical fasteners.
15. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 9 wherein the first half and the second half include a plurality of apertures, the fastener comprising a plurality of threaded mechanical fasteners threadably insertable into said apertures to secure and join the first frame half and the second frame half together.
16. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 9 wherein the first half and the second half have no apertures to secure and join the first frame half and the second frame half together, and wherein only an adhesive is used to secure and join the first frame half and the second frame half together to form a complete bicycle frame.
17. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 9 wherein the complete cycle frame defines a central chamber for enclosing a battery, a motor, and a personal computer board to run an electrically powered cycle.
18. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 9 wherein the complete frame defines an aperture for mounting a drive motor and a central chamber for enclosing a power source for the drive motor.
19. A frame system for bicycles according to claim 9 wherein the complete frame defines an aperture for mounting a drive motor and a central chamber for enclosing a battery to provide power to the drive motor.
20. A method of constructing a frame for a cycle, comprising the steps of: forming a first frame half of continuous, integral portions comprising a first head tube portion, a first frame tube portion, and a first seat mast housing portion, a first pedal hub housing portion, a first crank shaft housing portion, and a first chain stay; forming a second frame half of continuous, integral portions comprising a second head tube portion, a second frame tube portion, and a second seat mast housing portion, a second pedal hub housing portion, a second crank shaft housing portion, and a second chain stay; fastening the first frame half and the second frame half together to form a complete cycle frame.
21. A method of constructing a frame for a cycle according to claim 20 wherein the steps of forming the first frame half and the second frame half comprise die casting the first frame half and the second frame half.
22. A method of constructing a frame for a cycle according to claim 20 wherein the step of forming the first frame half and the second frame half comprises pressing the first frame half and the second frame half.
23. A method of constructing a frame for a cycle according to claim 20 wherein the step of fastening the first frame half to the second frame half comprises roll welding the first frame half to the second frame half.
24. A method of constructing a frame for a cycle according to claim 20 wherein the step of fastening the first frame half to the second frame half comprises spot welding the first frame half to the second frame half.
25. A method of constructing a frame for a cycle according to claim 20 wherein the steps of forming the first frame half and the second frame half comprise die casting the first frame half and the second frame half, and wherein the step of fastening the first frame half to the second frame half comprises bolting the first frame half to the second frame half.
26. A method of constructing a frame for a cycle according to claim 20 wherein the steps of forming the first frame half and the second frame half comprise injection molding the first frame half and the second frame half.
27. A method of constructing a frame for a cycle according to claim 20 wherein the steps of forming the first frame half and the second frame half comprise ultrasonic welding.
28. A method of constructing a frame for a cycle according to claim 20 wherein the steps of forming the first frame half and the second frame half comprise injection molding the first frame half and the second frame half, and wherein the step of fastening the first frame half and the second frame half comprises gluing the first frame half to the second frame half.
Description:
1

FRAME SYSTEM FOR CYCLES TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to cycles, and more particularly, frames for cycles. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Frames for cycles (e.g., bicycles, tricycles, motorcycles, mopeds, etc.) have traditionally been made of a variety of sizes, shapes, and configurations. Each type of frame has been constructed to meet a variety of variably desirable characteristics, such as strength, weight, and configuration for maximum efficiency.

Weight of a cycle frame is one important design factor. Strength is another important design factor. Continual efforts are made to construct cycle frames that are lighter and stronger than traditional models. The lighter the frame, the less energy is required to move the frame. Many prior cycle frames, particularly bicycle frames, are constructed by assembling a variety of tubular pieces. The tubular pieces vary in size, diameter, and composition. Although select processes for joining tubular members have been developed, such tubular members are typically hand-welded together to form a cycle frame. Because of the requirement that cycle frames be lightweight, most traditional frames are made of aluminum, chromoly, or carbon fiber. Using these types of materials to construct traditional cycle frames requires specialized joining methods. For example, many cycle frames are made of aluminum which is a difficult material to weld and requires special heat treatment. Such hand welding processes are labor-intensive and time consuming, rendering the manufacturing process and costly. Further, the welded locations are the "weak links" in the frames and therefore subject to failure.

There is a need, therefore, to provide a frame system for cycles which produces a lightweight, strong, and easy to manufacture frame.

There is also a need to provide a frame system which eliminates the various weak links created when tubular members are welded to another. There is still further a need to provide a frame system that provides frames that are easily and economically assembled.

The present invention involves a revolutionary frame system for cycles which provides lightweight, strong, easy to manufacture, and easy to assemble cycle frames relative to traditional frames. The present frame system eliminates may of the shortcomings of traditional cycle frames, particularly with respect to cost and ease of manufacture. Other features, advantages, and objects of the invention will become more apparent from the detailed description of the invention which follows.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Preferred embodiments of the invention are described below with reference to the accompanying drawings, which are briefly described below. Fig. 1 is a side elevation view of a bicycle incorporating a frame system according to the present invention.

Fig. 2 is a top view of the bicycle and frame of Fig. 1. Fig. 3 is a top view of the frame incorporated into the bicycle of

Fig. 1.

Fig. 4 is a side elevation view, taken along the line 4-4 of Fig. 3, of one half of the bicycle frame.

Fig. 5 is a side elevation view of an electrically powered cycle incorporating a frame system according to the present invention.

Fig. 6 is a top view of the electrically powered cycle of Fig. 5 incorporating a frame system according to the present invention.

Fig. 7 is a top view of the frame of the electrically powered cycle shown in Fig. 5. Fig. 8 is a side elevation view, taken along the line 8-8 of Fig.

7, of one half of the frame.

Fig. 9 is a side elevation view of an alternative cycle frame system according to the present invention.

Fig. 10 is a top view of the frame system of Fig. 9. Fig. 11 is a side elevation view, taken along the line 11-11 of Fig.

10, of one half of the frame system.

Fig. 12 is an alternative embodiment of one half of the frame system of Fig. 10.

Fig. 13 is a sectional view of one embodiment of a frame assembly method according to the present invention.

Fig. 14 is another embodiment of a frame assembly method according to the present invention. Fig. 15 is still another embodiment of a frame assembly method according to the present invention.

Fig. 16 is another embodiment of a frame assembly method according to the present invention.

Fig. 17 is yet another embodiment of a frame assembly method according to the present invention.

Fig. 18 is still another embodiment of a frame assembly method according to the present invention.

Fig. 19 is another embodiment of a frame assembly method according to the present invention. Fig. 20 is still another embodiment of a frame assembly method according to the present invention.

Fig. 21 is another embodiment of a frame assembly method according to the present invention.

Fig. 19 is yet still another embodiment of a frame assembly method according to the present invention.

MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

This disclosure of the invention is submitted in furtherance of the constitutional purposes of the U.S. Patent Laws "to promote the progress of science and useful arts" (Article 1, Section 8).

The present invention involves a frame system for cycles which includes a first frame half integrally formed to include the following portions: a first frame half comprising a first head tube portion, a first seat mast portion, a first cross bar portion, a first down tube portion, a first seat stay, and a first chain stay;

4 a second frame half comprising a second head tube portion, a second seat mast portion, a second cross bar portion, a second down tube portion, a second seat stay, and a second chain stay; a fastener to join and secure the first frame half and the second frame half together at the head tube, seat mast, cross frame, and down tube portions to form a complete bicycle frame.

More specifically, with reference to Figs. 1 and 2, the invention relates to a frame system 10 for a cycle 12. In the embodiment shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the cycle 12 includes generally a pair of wheels 14, 16, a steering column 18 with a handlebars assembly 20 attached thereto, a seat assembly 19, and opposed pedal assemblies 24, 26 for driving a chain entrained around a sprocket assembly 30.

With reference to Figs. 3 and 4, the frame assembly 10 comprises a first frame half 32 and a second frame half 34. The first frame half and second frame half are mirror images of one another. The frame assembly 10 is thus bifurcated along a longitudinal axis and vertical plane of the frame. The bifurcated sides comprise first frame half 32 and second frame half 34.

The first frame half 32 comprises a first head tube portion 36 which defines in part a tubular passageway 38 through which the steering column 18 (Fig. 1) passes, a first frame tube portion 40, a first seat mast housing portion 42, a first pedal shaft housing portion 44 which defines an aperture 46 for the pedal shaft (not shown), and a first chain stay portion 48. The first seat tube housing portion 42 includes a plurality of reinforcing ribs 50 which serve to strengthen the walls of the housing portion 42. Also, mounted within the first seat tube housing portion is post member 52 adapted to receive a seat post (not shown). The post member 52 includes an aperture which may be used to lock the seat post in place. The first frame portion 40 includes a central cavity 56 which is provided primarily to reduce the overall weight of the frame for the cycle. Nevertheless, components that would aid in the cycle's operation could be mounted within the central cavity if desired.

The second frame half 34 is the mirror image of first frame half 32 and, therefore, includes the same components. Specifically, the second frame half includes a second head tube portion 58, a second frame tube portion 60, a second seat mast housing portion 62, a second pedal shaft housing portion 64, and a second chain stay 66. The first frame half 32 and the second frame half 34 are joined to form a complete cycle frame.

A plurality of apertures 68 are provided in the first and second frame halves 32, 34 for securing and fastening the first frame half and the second frame half together. The various ways of joining these two frame halves are discussed in greater detail below.

The frame assembly is unique in that it requires no welding or joining of multiple tubes to one another as is typically done in constructing cycle frames. Rather, a complete frame is formed when the first frame half 32 and the second frame half 34 are joined together. There are no weak areas created at hand-welded areas exist in the vast majority of current cycle frames. Such weak areas may cause one tubular portion to separate from another tubular portion to which it is attached. Rather, the two frame halves combine to form a complete frame for a cycle which is lightweight, sturdy, and not subject to failure along a hand- welded portion.

Another advantage of the present invention is that it can be made by die casting, pressing, or injection molding the first and second frame halves. No weak welding areas are thus created. The frame may still be constructed out of aluminum, titanium, chromoly, or any other suitable material. Alternatively, the frame could be created by injection molding to create a frame that is made of reinforced plastic.

Figs. 5-8 disclosure an alternative embodiment to the cycle frame shown in Figs. 1-4. The two frames are similar with some specific differences for enabling the frame to be used in connection an electrically powered scooter. The frame shown in Figs. 5-8 include first and second frame tube portions 41, 61 (Fig. 7) that define a relatively larger internal cavity 70 (Fig. 8). This internal cavity provides a internal location for installing components necessary to run an electric cycle. These components may include a battery, a control processor, lead wires, and any other

/27648 P MB 5/00 78

6 components necessary for the operation of an electric cycle. These components may be installed inside the internal cavity 70 by any conventional means. The embodiment shown in Figs. 5-8 further comprises a motor mounting aperture 72 (Fig. 8) having mounting locations 74 for securing an electric motor to the cycle frame. As shown in Figs. 5 and

6 a motor 74 is preferably mounted within the aperture 72 for driving the chain 28 of the bicycle.

Similar to the embodiment of Figs. 1-4, a plurality of apertures 68 are provided in the first and second frame halves 32, 34 for securing and fastening the first frame half and the second frame half together. The various ways of joining these two frame halves are discussed in greater detail below.

Fig. 9 shows another alternative embodiment of a frame system assembly 100 for a bicycle 102. The bicycle includes a handle bars section 104, front and rear wheels 106, 108, a pedal assembly 110, and a seat assembly 112. Other than the frame assembly 100, the other components of the bicycle are conventional.

Figs. 10 and 11 show a preferred embodiment of the frame assembly 100, which comprises a first frame half 114 and a second frame half 116. The first frame and second frame half are mirror images of one another.

Fig. 11 shows a side elevation view of the first frame half 114 of the frame system of Fig. 10. The first frame half 114 comprises a first head tube portion 118, a first seat mast portion 120, a first cross bar portion 122, a first down tube portion 124, a first seat stay 126, and a first chain stay 128. An aperture 130 for mounting the pedal assembly

110 (Fig. 9) is formed at the intersection of the first down tube portion

124 and the first seat mast portion 120.

As shown in Fig. 10, the second frame half 116 includes mirror image portions compared to the first frame half 114. The second frame half includes a second head tube portion 132, a second cross bar portion

134, a second down tube portion (not shown), a second seat mast portion

136, a second seat stay 138, and a second chain stay (not shown).

A plurality of apertures 140 are provided in both the first frame half 114 and the second frame half 116 at locations where the respective frame halves engage one another. The apertures may be used to bolt the two frame halves together to form a complete bicycle frame. The specific and various methods of joining the first and second frame halves will be discussed in greater detail below.

Fig. 12 shows another embodiment of the frame system 114 of Fig. 10. In this embodiment, there are no apertures in the frame for use in bolting the first frame half to the second frame half. The first frame half and the second frame half may simply be glued together or joined by ultrasonic welding to form a complete bicycle frame.

A primary advantage of each of the disclosed frame systems, the frame system of Figs. 1-4, the frame system of Figs. 5-8, and the frame system of Figs 9-12, is the relative simplicity of creating the frame. Each frame half of the respective frame systems can be created by die casting, pressing, or by injection molding, depending upon the materials used for the frame. A reinforced plastic can be used for injection molding purposes. New high tech plastics and composites are sufficiently strong to create a high-quality, light-weight frame at a fraction at the cost required for conventional tube-type frames. A reinforced plastic frame has the advantage of being highly yieldable (such as when the bicycle is travelling over bumpy terrain) and lightweight.

Alternatively, the frame could be manufactured by die casting for frames made of aluminum, titanium, chromoly or any other suitable material. The advantages of using these types of materials are well-known.

Another advantage of the present invention is that by die casting or injection molding the first and second frame halves, a cavity may be created in the frame for installing component parts for an electric cycle.

Such component parts can be installed into the cavity before assembling the frame. The component parts can be accessed by separating the two halves (where, for example, bolts are used) or a rear access area can be provided in the frame system. With tube-type conventional frame construction, this cannot be accomplished.

In each of the systems described above, various mounting locations may be provided which may consist of interlocking protuberances and corresponding indentations on the respective first and second frame halves, or apertures for bolting the two halves together. Alternatively, the two frame halves of the frame system can be glued together either with or without the pairs of protuberances and indentations, using a suitable adhesive.

Fig. 13 shows one mechanical means for fastening a first frame portion 142 to a second frame portion 144. A plurality of apertures 146 are provided so that the respective halves can be bolted together. A cavity 148 is formed between the first and second frame halves to reduce the weight of the frame.

Fig. 14 shows another alternative embodiment for joining a first frame portion 148 to second frame portion 150. The plurality of mounting locations 152 are provided to allow the frame to be bolted together. An internal cavity 154 is created between the two frame portions. Cavity 154 is relatively larger than cavity 148 (Fig. 12) in cases where it is desired to mount component parts, such as a battery, a controller or other components inside the frame assembly. Fig. 15 shows an alternative embodiment of a frame assembly or in a first frame portion 156 is secured to a second frame portion 158. First frame portion 156 includes recessed areas 160 over which the edges of frame portion 158 ride. The two frames may be joined by spot welding or another suitable method at locations 162 to secure and join the two frame portions together.

Fig. 16 shows an alternative embodiment to the frame system shown in Fig. 15. First frame portion 156 is joined to second frame portion 158 by inserting the edges of portion 158 over the recessed portions 160 of first frame portion 156. Respective mechanical fasteners, such as bolts 164, are used to secure the respective frame portions together.

Figs. 17 and 18 show yet other embodiments of two frame components joined together. A first frame component 166 includes opposed flanges 168. Second frame portion 170 includes opposed flanges 172 in the embodiment. In Fig. 17, the flange 172 terminates at an elbow 174

2 8

9 which interlocks with flanges 168 of first frame portion 166. In the embodiments of Figs. 17 or 18, the two frame portions can be joined by spot-welds 176. Alternatively, the two frame portions could be joined by roll welding, ultrasonic welding, or gluing. Figs. 19 and 20 show still other embodiments of two grooved frame components 180, 182 joined together. A first frame portion 180 includes two surfaces 184, 186 which correspond to similar surfaces of second frame portion 182. The Fig. 19 embodiment includes a relative smaller internal cavity 190 as compared to internal cavity 188 of the Fig. 20 embodiment. The two components 180, 182 may be joined together by gluing, ultrasonic welding or other suitable methods.

Fig. 21 shows still another alternative method for joining frame halves according to the present invention. A first frame component 190 is joined to a second frame component 192 of like shape and size. Each of the components 190, 192 has respective recessed portions 196, 194 so that the two components 190, 192 can interlock with and be secured to one another. The two components 190, 192 can be joined by gluing, ultrasonic welding, or by other suitable methods to form a complete bicycle frame. In compliance with the statute, the invention has been described in language more or less specific as to structural and methodical features. It is to be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown and described, since the means herein disclosed comprise preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the proper scope of the appended claims appropriately interpreted in accordance with the doctrine of equivalents.