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Title:
INTERNAL CABLE GUIDE SYSTEM FOR A BICYCLE FRAME
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/206112
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An internal cable guide system (200) for a bicycle frame (100) has been disclosed. The bicycle frame may have a plurality of interconnected tubes, and has a first opening (102) and a second opening (104). The internal cable guide system (200) comprises a tubular cable guide which, when installed, extends within the tubes of the bicycle frame between the first opening (102) and the second opening (104). A first cable guide connector (260) is connected to the tubular cable guide at the first opening (102), and a second cable guide connector (270) is connected to the tubular cable guide at the second opening (104), In order e.g. to facilitate the installation of the internal cable guide system, the cable guide has at least one portion (230) which is lengthwise elastic. In an advantageous embodiment, the tubular cable guide includes a first lengthwise non-elastic portion (240), attached to the lengthwise elastic portion (230), which is further attached to a second lengthwise non-elastic portion (220).

Inventors:
HOLO, Morten (Parkveien 14, 3413 LIER, 3413, NO)
Application Number:
EP2017/061349
Publication Date:
November 15, 2018
Filing Date:
May 11, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SIMPLIFIED AS (Parkveien 14, 3413 LIER, 3413, NO)
International Classes:
B62J6/18; B62K19/30
Foreign References:
US4102219A1978-07-25
CN201376644Y2010-01-06
US20140305254A12014-10-16
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ONSAGERS AS (P.O. Box 1813, Vika, 0123 OSLO, 0123, NO)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. Internal cable guide system (200) for a bicycle frame (100), the bicycle frame having a first opening (102) and a second opening (104), the system comprising

a tubular cable guide (220, 230, 240) which, when installed, extends within the tubes of the bicycle frame between the first opening (102) and the second opening (104);

a first cable guide connector (260) connected to the tubular cable guide at the first opening (102);

a second cable guide connector (270) connected to the tubular cable guide at the second opening (104);

the tubular cable guide (220, 230, 240) having at least one portion (230) which is lengthwise elastic. 2. Internal cable guide system (200) according to claim 1 ,

wherein the tubular cable guide (220, 230, 240) consists of the lengthwise elastic portion (230).

3. Internal cable guide system (200) according to claim 1 ,

wherein the tubular cable guide (220, 230, 240) includes at least one lengthwise non-elastic portion (220; 240) and the lengthwise elastic portion (230).

4. Internal cable guide system (200) according to claim 3,

wherein the tubular cable guide (220, 230, 240) includes a first lengthwise non- elastic portion (240), attached to the lengthwise elastic portion (230), further attached to a second lengthwise non-elastic portion (220).

5. Internal cable guide system (200) according to one of the claims 3 or 4, wherein each non-elastic portion (220; 240) comprises a bendable tube.

6. Internal cable guide system (200) according to one of the claims 3-5, wherein the first cable guide connector (260) is connected to the first portion (240) of the tubular cable guide (220, 230, 240) by means of a press-fit connection.

7. Internal cable guide system (200) according to claim 6, wherein the first cable guide connector (260) is connected to the first portion (240) of the tubular cable guide (220, 230, 240) by means of at least one hook 266 on the first cable guide connector (260) interacting with corresponding openings 242 in the first portion (240) of the tubular cable guide.

8. Internal cable guide system (200) according to one of the claims 3-7, wherein the second cable guide connector (270) is connected to the second portion (220) of the tubular cable guide (220, 230, 240) by means of a press-fit connection.

9. Internal cable guide system (200) according to claim 8,

wherein the second cable guide connector (270) is connected to the second portion (220) of the tubular cable guide (220, 230, 240) by means of at least one hook 276 on the second cable guide connector (270) interacting with corresponding openings 222 in the second portion (220) of the tubular cable guide.

10. System according to one of the claims 1 -9, wherein each of the cable guide connectors (260, 270) is adapted to be installed in the corresponding opening (102; 104)) of the bicycle frame.

1 1. System according to claim 10, wherein each of the cable guide connectors (260; 270) is adapted to be fastened to the bicycle frame by a bolt which extends through a flange of the cable guide connector (260; 270) into a threaded portion of the bicycle frame.

12. System according to one of the claims 1 -1 1 ,

wherein the tubular cable guide (220, 230, 240) is adapted to allow a gear or brake cable or hydraulic brake hose to be guided therethrough. 13. System according to one of the claims 1 -12, further comprising a wire cable, a wire without a hose, a hydraulic cable or an electric cable guided through the tubular cable guide (220, 230, 240).

14. System according to one of the claims 1-13, the bicycle frame having a plurality of interconnected tubes, the first (103) and second (104) openings being arranged in separate tubes of the bicycle frame.

15. Bicycle frame (100), having a first opening (102) and a second opening (104), the bicycle frame (100) comprising an internal cable guide system as set forth in one of the claims 1-14.

16. Bicycle frame according to claim 15, wherein each of the first (102) and second (104) openings are arranged in a down tube, a top tube, a head tube, a seat tube, a chain stay or a seat stay of the bicycle frame.

Description:
INTERNAL CABLE GUIDE SYSTEM FOR A BICYCLE FRAME

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates in general to the field of bicycle technology.

More particularly, the invention relates to an internal cable guide system for a bicycle frame. The invention also relates to a bicycle frame that includes such an internal cable guide system.

BACKGROUND

Bicycles are generally equipped with cables for controlling brakes, gears or other types of devices. Usually, such devices are operated by the user of the bicycle, for instance by means of levers attached to the bicycle's handlebar. The cables typically extend from an area close to the handlebar to another part of the bicycle, e.g. close to a brake or a gear shifting device.

Such a cable may e.g. include a steel wire slidably arranged in a casing, which enables mechanical movement of a brake, a gear shifting device (derailleur), a dropper seatpost, a rear wheel damper shock or similar. Alternatively, the cable may be a hydraulic control hose, wherein a hydraulic fluid is pressurized by a piston at the control lever, resulting in the movement of a piston in e.g. a brake caliper or an actuator mechanism in a dropper seatpost. Still alternatively, the cable may be an electric cable, transferring an electric control signal and/or power signal. Electric cables are e.g. used in electronic gear shifting systems and for transferring power or signals in electric bicycles.

Traditionally, such cables have been attached to the exterior of the bicycle frame by means of suitable external attachment means.

In order to improve aesthetic and aerodynamic properties, more and more bicycle frames, particularly frames built in carbon fiber material, are now fitted with cables that are fully or partially mounted inside the frame.

Bicycle frames with internally guided cables, in particular wire cables, may have the wires led either full length in an outer casing, or just partially. In the latter variant, only the core wire is led inside the frame. The outer casing including core wire can be led from the handlebar to an entry hole/stop-point for the outer casing where the core wire continues inside. Next, at an exit hole, the core wire is led into a new outer casing to the next destination, which may be the end-destination (e.g., brake, dropper seatpost, rear damper or derailleur) or next entry hole on the frame. In this case, the outer casing only "bridges" the wire past such as the seat tube to the new entry-hole in the seat stay. This solution is common on road bikes. In the full length solution, the outer casing or hydraulic hose for hydraulic brakes, are often led inside the frame through simple entry and exit holes. Such solutions often include intricate and detailed hole structures with lid and part assemblies for locking the casing/tubing, and for limiting the ingress of water, mud and moisture. Also, some frame manufacturers have molded solid internal tubes into the frame structure. This is a costly and non-flexible solution, as it is permanent and makes great demands on design, molds, casting method and the actual casting. In addition, it results in increased use of materials and weight of the entire frame.

Common to the prior art full length and partial length solutions is that the mounting of the casing, core wire and hydraulic hose is time-consuming and difficult. From a very small exit hole, you will have to find the casing, core wire or hose threaded tube inside the frame tube and extract it. Many complex frame structures are also completely hollow structures which means that entering the casing or hose may result in accidentally steering it into the wrong tube, for example by the crank portion where four frame tubes meet.

To make this work easier, there are currently a number of special tools and methods. Whether one talks about the first initial factory assembly and the professional or DIY maintenance (shift- and brake casings and wires are often replaced many times through the season), working with internal cable and wire guiding and mounting are considered an annoying and time consuming work.

In some cases a service/inspection opening, normally covered by a lid, is arranged in the bicycle frame, in order to facilitate the internal guiding of one or more cables within the frame.

Designing and producing frames with intricate and detailed structures and part assemblies for mounting internal cable routing is demanding and expensive: Design, construction of molds, the production/casting, the finishing and quality control. In addition comes the time-consuming first initial assembly of internal casings, core wires and hoses when the factory set up the bike with the other brake and shift components.

Hence, there is a need for providing an improved internal cable guide system for a bicycle frame.

SUMMARY

Advantages over the background art are provided by an internal cable guide system for a bicycle frame, and a bicycle frame which includes such a system, as set forth in the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Figure 1 is a schematic side view of a bicycle frame.

Figure 2 is a schematic exploded side view of an internal cable guide system.

Figure 3 is a schematic exploded perspective view of an internal cable guide system.

Figure 4 is a schematic cross sectional view of an internal cable guide system which is installed in a bicycle frame.

Figure 5 is a schematic exploded perspective view of another embodiment of the internal cable guide system. Figure 6 is a schematic perspective view of a single entrance-type cable guide connector.

Figure 7 is a schematic perspective view of a double entrance-type cable guide connector.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Figure 1 is a schematic side view of an exemplary bicycle frame 100 that may be used with the internal cable guide system disclosed herein.

The illustrated bicycle frame 100 is a rigid, two-triangular, hollow bicycle frame. It may be made of carbon fiber, aluminium, steel, titanium or any other suitable bicycle frame material.

Geometrically the illustrated frame includes two triangles; a front triangle 1 10 to the right and a rear triangle 120 to the left. The front triangle 1 10 includes a top tube 130, a seat tube 140 and a down tube 150, as well as the shorter head tube 160. The rear triangle 120 includes two substantially parallel seat stays 170, og which only one is shown, and two substantially parallel chain stays 180, of which only one is shown. The down tube 150, seat tube 140 and the two chain stays 180 intersect at a crank portion 190, intended to accommodate a bottom bracket (not shown).

In the case of a metal frame, such as a steel, aluminium or titan frame, the tubes are typically welded together at their ends. In the case of a carbon fiber frame, the frame may be moulded or cast, and the tubes will be integrated parts of the frame. The bicycle frame has a first opening 102 and a second opening 104. At least one cable is to be installed within the frame, extending between the first opening 102 and the second opening 104. As illustrated, the first opening 102 is arranged in an upper portion of the frame's down tube 150. The second opening 104 is arranged in one of the chain stays 180, in particular the right-hand chain stay 180, at a location in the vicinity of the position of a rear derailleur (not shown) and rear disc brakes (not shown) that will be attached to the frame 100 when the bicycle is assembled. It should be understood that each of the first 102 and second 104 openings may be arranged at a location in any of the down tube 150, top tube 130, seat tube 140, head tube 160, chain stay 180 or seat stay 170 of the bicycle frame. The first 102 and second 104 openings may be arranged in separate tubes of the frame that are interconnected, in the sense that there is a continuous, internal conduit within the tubes between the first 102 and second 104 openings. The first 102 and second 104 openings may also be placed at the same frame tube, typical the down tube.

The first opening 102 may be denoted an entrance/ entry opening, or an

entrance/ entry hole, indicating that one or more cables, hoses or el-wires are to enter this opening during installation. Likewise, the second opening 104 may be denoted an exit opening, or an exit hole, indicating that a cable, hydraulic hose or el-wire is to exit this opening during installation.

It should be noted that the exit opening is not necessarily the opening located closest to the device to be controlled. For instance, in the case of a hydraulic brake caliper, the entry opening may be the opening closest to the caliper (e.g., in a chain stay), while the exit opening may be closest to a manual operating lever (e.g. in the upper part of a down tube). The first opening 102 and the second opening 104 may have a predetermined shape, and may advantageously be prepared during the production of the frame. In an aspect of the present disclosure, the openings may be simple cutouts of the frame material. In a possible aspect, a threaded portion (not shown) may be arranged in the frame tube, next to each opening, to receive a bolt that may extend through a flange of a cable guide connector that shall be attached to the respective opening, in order to fasten the cable guide connector to the bicycle frame.

It should also be noted that the bicycle frame as illustrated is just an example of a bicycle frame for a regular bicycle. The principles of the present internal cable guide system may equally be practiced with other types of bicycle frames, including frames for cargo bicycles, tandem bicycles and recumbent bicycles, etc. Figure 2 is a schematic side view of an internal cable guide system 200 that may be installed in a bicycle frame, the bicycle frame having a first opening 102 and a second opening 104. The bicycle frame may have a plurality of interconnected tubes, and the the first 102 and second 104 openings may be arranged in separate tubes of the bicycle frame.

The first opening 102 and the second 104 opening may be arranged in various sections or portions of the bicycle frame, for instance as has already been explained with reference to figure 1. Hence, each of the first 102 and second 104 openings may be arranged in a down tube, a top tube, a head tube, a seat tube, a chain stay or a seat stay of the bicycle frame. The illustrated system 200 comprises a tubular cable guide which, when installed in the bicycle frame, extends within the tubes of the bicycle frame between the first opening 102 and the second opening 104. The tubular cable guide is adapted to allow a gear or brake cable, or hydraulic brake hose, to be guided therethrough.

A first cable guide connector 260 is connected to the tubular cable guide at the first opening 102.

A second cable guide connector 270 is connected to the tubular cable guide at the second opening 104.

In order to facilitate the installation of the system into the bicycle frame, the cable guide has at least one portion 230 which is lengthwise elastic.

As shown in the exemplary embodiment of figure 3, the tubular cable guide is formed as an interconnection of three parts: a first, non-elastic tubular cable guide portion 240, a lengthwise elastic tubular cable guide portion 230, and a second, non- elastic tubular cable guide portion 220.

The lengthwise elastic portion 230 of the tubular cable guide makes it possible to stretch and contract the cable guide. This facilitates the process of installing the cable guide system 200 into the bicycle frame 100. In particular, the last step of interconnecting the elements of the cable guide system 200 may be the

interconnection of an end of the tubular cable guide to one of the cable guide connectors while the tubular cable guide is extended in length, for instance by manually stretching the tubular cable guide out of the exit opening 104. When the cable guide connector is secured to the tubular cable guide, the cable guide is partly contracted to a suitable length between the openings 102 and 104.

The lengthwise elastic portion 230 also has the advantage that the cable guide system 200, after installation and during use, will take up movements and shocks, resulting in low noise and vibrations and reduced risk for system and component failure.

Another useful advantgage is that the length of the lengthwise elastic portion 230 of the tubular cable guide may be adapted in accordance with certain requirements. This makes it possible to modify the system 200 to suit the need for total length, total possible length extension, etc.

Still another advantage is that one particular system, with a certain total length and a certain total possible length extension, will be suitable for a range of bicycle frame sizes, since the extension will be taken up by the elastic portion. This again makes it possible to produce the system in a smaller number of lengths, which will be appropriate for use with a larger range of bicycle frame sizes. As an example, the present internal cable guide system may be manufactured and offered in four sizes, which will be suitable for greater range of for instance eight bicycle frame sizes.

The lengthwise elastic portion 230 of the cable guide may advantageously be made of rubber or similar elastic material, which will extend in length when it is stretched, while returning to a suitable shorter length when not fully stretched.

In a possible aspect, the tubular cable guide consists of the lengthwise elastic portion 230. In this case, the tubular cable guide may be provided as one single, lengthwise elastic, bendable hose. This has been illustrated in the embodiment shown in figure 5.

In another aspect, the tubular cable guide includes at least one lengthwise non- elastic portion and a lengthwise elastic portion. For instance, as illustrated in figure 2, 3 and 4, the tubular cable guide includes a first lengthwise non-elastic portion 240, which is attached to the lengthwise elastic portion 230, which is further attached to a second lengthwise non-elastic portion 220.

In any of the above aspects, each lengthwise non-elastic portion of the tubular cable guide, such as the first lengthwise non-elastic portion 220 and the second lengthwise non-elastic portion 240, may comprise a bendable tube, e.g. made of a synthetic, thermoplastic polymer such as nylon or polyurethane (PU).

In an aspect, the first cable guide connector 260 may be connected to the first portion 240 of the tubular cable guide by means of a press-fit connection.

Likewise, the second cable guide connector 270 may be connected to the second portion 220 of the tubular cable guide by means of a press-fit connection.

Advantageously, each cable guide connector 260, 270 may include a tube end provided with an outer hook, barb or similar fastening means that may interact with a complementary fastening means in the lengthwise non-elastic portion 220, 240 of the tubular cable guide. As an example, one or more hooks 266 on the outer periphery of a tube end of the first cable guide connector 260 may interact and interlock with one or more openings such as the rectangular opening 242 in the first lengthwise non-elastic portion 240 of the tubular cable guide. Likewise, one or more hooks 276 on the outer periphery of a tube end of the second cable guide connector 270 may interact and interlock with one or more openings such as the rectangular opening 222 in the second lengthwise non-elastic portion 220 of the tubular cable guide.

In order to provide more secure connections, a sleeve, e.g. a heat-activated shrink sleeve or a zip-tie, may additionally be arranged at each press-fit connection, which surrounds and secures each press-fit connection.

The lengthwise elastic portion 230 and the lengthwise non-elastic portion 220, 240 of the tubular cable guide may be interconnected and secured to each other by means of a suitable glue.

In order to provide more secure and stable connections, a sleeve, e.g. a heat- activated shrink sleeve or a zip-tie, which surrounds and secures each press-fit connection, may additionally be arranged around each connection between the elastic portion 230 and the lengthwise non-elastic portion 220, 240.

Each of the first 260 and second 270 cable guide connectors may, in an aspect, be adapted to be installed in the first 102 and the second 104 openings of the bicycle frame, respectively.

The first cable guide connector 260 may be adapted to be installed in the

corresponding first opening 102 of the bicycle frame. Correspondingly, the second cable guide connector 270 may be adapted to be installed in the corresponding second opening 104 of the bicycle frame.

In a possible aspect, each of the cable guide connectors 260, 270 may be adapted to be fastened to the bicycle frame by a bolt 262, 272, which extends through a flange of the cable guide connector 260, 270 into a corresponding, threaded portion of a corresponding tube of the bicycle frame. In an alternative aspect, each cable guide connector 260, 270 may be adapted to be installed in the corresponding opening of the bicycle frame by clickable attachment means. The latter solution has the advantage that threaded portions in the bicycle frame tube are not necessary, and the use of bolts may be avoided.

A sealing or gasket may be provided between the cable guide connector 260, 270 and the bicycle frame in order to reduce the risk of water entering the inside of the frame.

The system 200 may also include a wire cable, a wire without a hose, a hydraulic cable or an electric cable guided through the first cable guide connector 260, further through the tubular cable guide 220, 230, 240, and further through the second cable guide connector 270. A bicycle frame, having a plurality of interconnected tubes, which includes an internal cable guide system, has been provided. The bicycle frame has a first opening 102 and a second opening 104. The bicycle frame further comprises an internal cable guide system as disclosed in the present disclosure, installed into the frame. Each of the first 102 and second 104 openings may, e.g., be arranged in a down tube, a top tube, a head tube, a seat tube, a chain stay or a seat stay of the bicycle frame.

As an alternative to the described bendable nylon tube for the lengthwise non- elastic portions 220, 240 of the tubular cable guide, each lengthwise non-elastic portion 220, 240 of the cable guide may include a braided hose, e.g. made from glass fiber filament. Alternatively, each lengthwise non-elastic portion of the cable guide may include an assembly of an inner, flexible hose and an outer, braided sleeve.

In either case, the cable guide should advantageously be enabled to guide, repeatedly, a gear cable hose, or hydraulic brake hose, or an electrical cable, past the turns and corners of the bicycle frame when it is threaded trough the frame. Other advantageous properties include the ability of not producing noise and resist wear by vibrations against the frame interior. The elastic stretch of the cable guide keeps the assembly tight between the openings 102 and 104, taking up slack that otherwise would be producing vibrations noise.

Figure 3 is a schematic exploded perspective view of an internal cable guide system.

The elements shown in figure 3 correspond directly to those shown in figure 2, disclosed above. In addition, circular first and second holes 264, 274 are shown in the flanges of the first 260 and second 270 cable connectors, respectively. A first bolt 262 is arranged to extend through the first hole 264 of the first cable connector 260, into a threaded portion of a bicycle frame tube. A second bolt 272 is arranged to extend through the first hole 274 of the first cable connector 270, into another threaded portion of the bicycle frame tube.

Figure 4 is a schematic cross sectional view of an internal cable guide system which is installed in a bicycle frame.

The bicycle frame includes a down tube 150 with a first opening 102, and a chain stay 180 with a second opening 104. An internal cable guide system is installed in the bicycle frame. The elements of the internal cable guide system shown in figure 4 correspond directly to those shown in figure 2, as disclosed above.

Figure 5 is a schematic exploded perspective view of another embodiment of the internal cable guide system. The elements shown in figure 5 correspond directly to those shown in figure 3 and 2, as disclosed above. However, in the embodiment of figure 5, the tubular cable guide consists of only one part, which constitutes the lengthwise elastic portion 230. In this embodiment, the one or more hooks 266 on the outer periphery of a tube end of the first cable guide connector 260 may interact with one or more opening, e.g. rectangular openings 242, which in this case are provided at a first end of the lengthwise elastic portion 230 of the tubular cable guide. Correspondingly, one or more hooks 276 on the outer periphery of a tube end of the second cable guide connector 270 may interact with one or more opening, e.g. rectangular openings 222, which in this case are provided at a second end of the lengthwise elastic portion 230 of the tubular cable guide.

Figure 6 is a schematic perspective view of a single entrance-type cable guide connector.

The single entrance-type cable-guide connector 260 shown in figure 6 corresponds to the cable-guide connector 260 described above with reference to figures 3 and 5.

The single entrance-type, cable guide connector 260 is adapted to be installed in the corresponding first opening 102 of the bicycle frame. The second cable guide connector 270, to be installed in the corresponding second opening 104 of the bicycle frame, may essentially be of the same type as the cable guide connector 260.

The single-entrance type cable guide connector 260 is adapted to receive a wire cable, a wire without a hose, a hydraulic cable or an electric cable through an outer opening 268. The wire cable, wire without a hose, hydraulic cable or electric cable is guided through a conduit of the cable guide connector 260 and further out of the inner opening 269. From the inner opening, the wire cable, wire without a hose, hydraulic cable an electric cable will be guided through the tubular cable guide which, in use, is connected to the cable guide connector 260.

Figure 7 is a schematic perspective view of a double entrance-type cable guide connector, often needed for guiding a combination of wires, hydraulic brake hose or electrical wires from the first entrance 102 to two different destiantions 104.

The double entrance-type cable guide connector 360 is adapted to be installed in the corresponding first opening 102 of the bicycle frame. In at typical application, second cable guide connectors will be installed in two corresponding, distinct, second openings 104 of the bicycle frame. The two second cable guide connectors may essentially be of the same type as the single entrance-type cable guide connector 260 disclosed above with reference to figures 2, 3 and 4. The double entrance-type cable guide connector 360 is adapted to guide two cables or wires selected from the set of wire cables, wires without a hose, hydraulic cables or electric cables, into the first opening of the bicycle frame.

In a typical application, the double-entrance type cable guide connector 360 may be adapted to receive a first wire cable, a wire without a hose, a hydraulic cable or an electric cable through a first, outer opening 365. The first wire cable, wire without a hose, hydraulic cable or electric cable is guided through a conduit of the cable guide connector 360 and further out of the first inner opening 367. From the inner opening, the wire cable, wire without a hose, hydraulic cable an electric cable will be guided through a first tubular cable guide which, in use, is connected to a cable guide connector 260. Further, the double-entrance type cable guide connector 360 may be adapted to receive a second wire cable, a wire without a hose, a hydraulic cable or an electric cable through a second, outer opening 368. The second wire cable, wire without a hose, hydraulic cable or electric cable is guided through a conduit of the cable guide connector 360 and further out of the second inner opening 369. From the inner opening 369, the wire cable, wire without a hose, hydraulic cable or electric cable will be guided through a second tubular cable guide which, in use, is connected to another cable guide connector 260.

It should be understood that a triple entrance-type cable guide connector may also be provided, using the same principles as disclosed above with reference to the double entrance-type cable guide connector.

The invention has been disclosed above with reference to possible exemplary embodiments. The skilled person will realize that numerous further alternatives and options exist within the scope of the appended claims.