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Title:
A MICRO-ADJUSTABLE SUPPORT BRACKET
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2003/074350
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A micro-adjustable support bracket comprising a support member, a bracket member (18) for attachment to an object to be supported at an adjustable angle, the bracket member (18) being mounted relative to the support member such that the bracket member (18) is pivotable relative to the support member about a pivot axiy, and a threaded vernier screw rotatably mounted relative to the support member and the bracket member (18), the vernier screw being disposed at a location eccentric of the pivot axis and being operatively associated with the support member and the bracket member (18) such that, during use, when the vernier screw is rotated, a lever action is applied to the bracket member (18) which urges the bracket member (18) to rotate relative to the pivot axis.

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Inventors:
CONTARINO ALDO (AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2003/000276
Publication Date:
September 12, 2003
Filing Date:
March 07, 2003
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SHOCK PROOF SOLUTIONS PTY LTD (AU)
CONTARINO ALDO (AU)
International Classes:
B62J1/08; (IPC1-7): B62J1/04; B62J1/08; B62J1/10
Foreign References:
US4836604A1989-06-06
US6174027B12001-01-16
GB2288371A1995-10-18
US4275922A1981-06-30
FR2436061A11980-04-11
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Starkie, Steven J. (Western Australia 6000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims:
1. A microadjustable support bracket comprising: a support member; a bracket member for attachment to an object to be supported at an adjustable angle, said bracket member being mounted relative to the support member such that the bracket member is pivotable relative to the support member about a pivot axis; and a threaded vernier screw rotatably mounted relative to the support member and the bracket member, said vernier screw being disposed at a location eccentric of said pivot axis and being operatively associated with the support member and the bracket member such that, during use, when said vernier screw is rotated, a lever action is applied to said bracket member which urges the bracket member to rotate relative to the pivot axis.
2. A support bracket as claimed in claim 1, wherein said vernier screw is rotatably mounted on the support member and mechanically coupled to the bracket member.
3. A support bracket as claimed in claim 1, wherein said vernier screw is rotatably mounted on the bracket member and mechanically coupled to the support member.
4. A support bracket as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein said bracket member is pivotally mounted on a pivot shaft and the pivot shaft is fixed relative to the support member.
5. A support bracket as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein said bracket member is fixedly mounted on a pivot shaft and the pivot shaft is pivotally mounted on the support member.
6. A support bracket as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, further including a transverse member screw threadably engaged with said vernier screw, said vernier screw being mounted substantially perpendicularly to said pivot axis, and said transverse member being mechanically coupled to said bracket member so as to impart said lever action to the bracket member when said transverse member is urged to move along a screw threaded portion of the vernier screw.
7. A support bracket as claimed in claim 6, wherein said transverse member is a drag shaft mounted substantially parallel to said pivot axis and the drag shaft is slidably received in a slotted aperture provided in the support member.
8. A support bracket as claimed in claim 5, wherein the support bracket includes at least one first bracket aperture for receiving said pivot shaft.
9. A support bracket as claimed in claim 8, wherein the bracket member includes a plurality of legs and each leg has a first bracket aperture concentrically positioned relative to said pivot axis for receiving said pivot shaft.
10. A support bracket as claimed in claim 6 or claim 7, wherein said transverse member extends into at least one second bracket aperture provided in the bracket member at said eccentric location.
11. A support bracket as claimed in claim 10, wherein the bracket member includes a plurality of legs supporting a crossbar, each leg having a second bracket aperture at said eccentric location.
12. A support bracket as claimed in any one of the preceding claims, wherein said bracket member is adapted to receive a bicycle seat in connection therewith and said support member is provided integral to a bicycle seat post.
Description:
A MICRO-ADJUSTABLE SUPPORT BRACKET The present invention relates to a micro-adjustable support bracket and relates particularly, though not necessarily exclusively, to such a support bracket for mounting a bicycle seat to a seat post.

Virtually since the advent of bicycle saddles, the angle of incidence of the saddle has been adjustable to allow for the individuality and comfort of the rider. Originally, and for most of the 20* Century, the adjustment of the angle of tilt of the bicycle seat was achieved by means of coarsely splined matching discs which afforded a considerable range of set increments. This arrangement was superseded by the use of two nominally vertically disposed bolts, which facilitated micro-adjustment of the angle of tilt by slackening one and tightening the other. This has been the preferred saddle tilt adjustment mechanism since the 1950's to the present day. A less popular system adopted by some manufacturers employs a single-through bolt mechanism. This system, once released, allows the saddle to float fee in a pitching axis, violating the essential engineering and design prerequisite of datum retention. Not surprisingly, bolt failure is common due to the extreme combined forces of road-shock and rider's weight, notwithstanding the large bolt sizes employed.

Surprisingly, sophisticated innovations in cycle component design and manufacture have not extended to saddle tilt adjustment mechanisms. Hence, there is a need for a more sophisticated saddle tilt adjustment mechanism to replace the antiquated systems currently employed on most bicycles.

The present invention was developed with a view to providing a micro-adjustable support bracket with particular application to tilt adjustment of a bicycle seat. However, it will be evident that the support bracket according to the invention has wider application wherever micro-adjustment is desirable.

Throughout this specification the term"comprising"is used inclusively, in the sense that there may be other features and/or steps included in the invention not expressly

defined or comprehended in the features or steps subsequently defined or described.

What such other features and/or steps may include will be apparent from the specification read as a whole.

According to the present invention there is provided a micro-adjustable support bracket comprising: a support member; a bracket member for attachment to an object to be supported at an adjustable angle, said bracket member being mounted relative to the support member such that the bracket member is pivotable relative to the support member about a pivot axis; and a threaded vernier screw rotatably mounted relative to the support member and the bracket member, said vernier screw being disposed at a location eccentric of said pivot axis and being operatively associated with the support member and the bracket member such that, during use, when said vernier screw is rotated, a lever action is applied to said bracket member which urges the bracket member to rotate relative to the pivot axis.

In one arrangement, the vernier screw is rotatably mounted on the support member and mechanically coupled to the bracket member.

In an alternative arrangement, the vernier screw is rotatably mounted on the bracket member and mechanically coupled to the support member.

Preferably, the bracket member is pivotally mounted on a pivot shaft and the pivot shaft is fixed relative to the support member.

Alternatively, the bracket member is fixedly mounted on a pivot shaft and the pivot shaft is pivotally mounted on the support member.

Preferably, the support bracket further includes a transverse member screw threadably engaged with said vernier screw, said vernier screw being mounted substantially perpendicularly to said pivot axis, and said transverse member being mechanically coupled to said bracket member so as to impart said lever action to the bracket member

when said transverse member is urged to move along a screw threaded portion of the vernier screw. Preferably said transverse member is a drag shaft mounted substantially parallel to said pivot axis and the drag shaft is slidably received in a slotted aperture provided in the support member.

Preferably, the support bracket includes at least one first bracket aperture for receiving said pivot shaft.

The bracket member preferably includes a plurality of legs and each leg preferably has a first bracket aperture concentrically positioned relative to said pivot axis for receiving said pivot shaft.

Preferably, the transverse member extends into at least one second bracket aperture provided in the bracket member at said eccentric location.

Preferably, the bracket member includes a plurality of legs supporting a cross-bar, each leg having a second bracket aperture at said eccentric location.

In one application, the bracket member is adapted to receive a bicycle seat in connection therewith and said support member is provided integral to a bicycle seat post.

In order to facilitate a better understanding of the nature of the invention a preferred embodiment of the micro-adjustable support bracket will now be described in detail, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Figure 1 is a side elevation of a bicycle seat mounted on a seat post with a preferred embodiment of a micro-adjustable support bracket according to the present invention; Figure 2 is a side elevation of the seat post of Figure 1; Figure 3 is an end elevation of a support bracket of the micro-adjustable support bracket shown in Figure 1 ;

Figure 4 is a side elevation of a transverse member of the micro-adjustable support bracket shown in Figure 1; and Figure 5 is a side elevation of a vernier screw of the micro-adjustable support bracket shown in Figure 1.

A preferred embodiment of the micro-adjustable support bracket 10 is illustrated in Figure 1 with a typical bicycle saddle 12. A pair of seat rails 14 of the bicycle saddle 12 are clamped between carrier plates 16a and 16b provided integral to a pivotable bracket member 18. The bracket member 18 is in the form of a yoke having a pair of legs 20 (as can be seen most clearly in Figure 3) supporting a cross-bar forming the lower carrier plate 16b. The carrier plates 16a and 16b are clamped together by a suitable fastener (not shown).

The bracket member 18 is pivotally mounted on a pivot shaft 22 so as to be pivotal about a pivot axis 24. The pivot shaft 22 is pivotally supported by a support member 26, which in this embodiment is provided integral to a seat post 28. The support member 26 is provided with a threaded vernier screw 30 rotatably mounted in a bore 32 provided in the support member 26 (see Figure 2). The vernier screw 30 is mounted so as to extend in a direction substantially perpendicular to the pivot axis 24. A transverse member 34 is engaged with the vernier screw 30. The vernier screw 30 has an externally screw threaded portion 31 and the transverse member 34 includes an internally screw threaded portion 35 for screw threadably receiving the externally screw threaded portion 31 of the vernier screw 30. The transverse member 34 is in the form of a drag shaft mounted substantially parallel to the pivot axis 24 and slidably received in a slotted aperture 36 provided in the support member 26. As can be seen most clearly in Figure 2, the slotted aperture 36 is in the form of a horizontally slotted hole in an upper portion of the seat post 28.

Horizontal travel of the drag shaft 34 relative to the slotted aperture 36 occurs when the vernier screw 30 is rotated in either direction relative to the transverse member 34, due to the externally threaded portion 31 of the vernier screw 30 meshing with the matching

internally screw threaded portion 35 of the drag shaft 34. The extent of travel of the drag shaft 34 is governed by the thread length on the vernier screw 30 and by the length of the horizontally slotted aperture 36.

Each leg 20 of the bracket member 18 has a first bracket aperture 38, as shown most clearly in Figure 3, for receiving the pivot shaft 22, the pivot shaft 22 in turn passing through a support aperture 40 provided in the support member 26, as shown in Figure 2.

Teflon washers may be provided on the pivot shaft so as to prevent any lateral drift of the bracket member 18. The pivot shaft 22 may be fixed relative to the support member 26 and pivotally received in the first bracket apertures 38. Alternatively, the pivot shaft 22 may be fixed relative to the bracket member 18 and pivotally received in the support aperture 40.

Each end of the drag shaft 34 extends into a second bracket aperture 42 provided in the respective legs 20 of the bracket member 18. As can be seen most clearly in Figure 1, the second bracket apertures 42 are vertically slotted so as to permit a degree of vertical movement of the drag shaft 34 relative to the bracket member 18 but not horizontal movement.

It will be understood that in the above arrangement, the vernier screw 30 is mechanically coupled to the bracket member 18 at a position eccentric of the pivot axis 24, so that when the vernier screw 30 is rotated relative to the drag shaft 34 a lever action is applied to the bracket member 18 via the drag shaft 34. In this way, micro-adjustment of the angle of pivot of the bracket member 18 relative to the seat post 28 can be effected by rotating the vernier screw 30.

The vernier screw 30 is provided with unthreaded portions 43 disposed at either side of the externally screw threaded portion 31, that is, adjacent a head 45 of the vernier screw and adjacent a step down portion 44 of the vernier screw. A circlip 46 is preferably attached adjacent the step down portion 44 of the vernier screw 30 so as to prevent any drift from occurring during use.

From the above description of a preferred embodiment of the micro-adjustable support bracket it will be apparent that it provides a number of significant advantages including the following: (a) it provides for very fine adjustment of the angle of tilt of an article using a single vernier screw to achieve maximum comfort and optimum position for the rider; (b) tilt adjustment is easy to effect and does not require the loosening and tightening of any nuts and bolts; (c) it is eminently suitable for incorporation in a shock-absorbing bicycle seat post; (d) it is lightweight yet maintains high mechanical strength; (e) it is relatively inexpensive to manufacture with minimum moving parts.

It will be apparent to person skilled in the relevant arts, that numerous variations and modifications may be made to the micro-adjustable support bracket in addition to those already described, without departing from the basic inventive concepts. For example, the placement of the vernier screw, and the manner in which it is mechanically coupled to the support bracket, may be varied to suit the particular application. The described embodiment illustrates the simplest application to a regular, minimalist racing-type seat post. The micro-adjustable support bracket also has wider applications. For example, a similar micro-adjustable support bracket may be used for providing micro-adjustment of the angle of tilt of a ceiling-mounted video projector. In this connection, a stepper motor may be coupled to the vernier screw to permit micro-adjustment of the angle of tilt of the projector by remote control. All such variations and modifications are to be considered within the scope of the present invention, the nature of which is to be determined from the foregoing description.