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Title:
RELEASABLE BOOT BINDING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2002/055161
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A ski binding (1) for releasably holding a boot (8), including a latch (30), arranged to pivot between an open position and an engaged position for securing the boot relative to the binding, and a lock mechanism (40) to provide incremental locking of the latch, as the latch pivots toward the engaged position, in order to restrict movement of the latch back toward the open position. The incremental locking allows for ease of entry into the binding and minimal force to manually release the boot. The binding also has an automatic release mechanism (60) to allow the binding to reset in an open position when the binding releases the boot.

Inventors:
Murphy, Stephen (Powder Design Pty. Ltd. 201 Hedges Avenue Mermaid Beach, Queensland 4218, AU)
Scallion, David (Powder Design Pty. Ltd. 201 Hedges Avenue Mermaid Beach, Queensland 4218, AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU2002/000031
Publication Date:
July 18, 2002
Filing Date:
January 11, 2002
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
POWDER DESIGN PTY. LTD. (201 Hedges Avenue Mermaid Beach, Queensland 4218, AU)
Murphy, Stephen (Powder Design Pty. Ltd. 201 Hedges Avenue Mermaid Beach, Queensland 4218, AU)
Scallion, David (Powder Design Pty. Ltd. 201 Hedges Avenue Mermaid Beach, Queensland 4218, AU)
International Classes:
A63C9/084; A63C9/085; (IPC1-7): A63C9/084
Domestic Patent References:
WO2000059588A12000-10-12
Foreign References:
EP0700699B11998-05-13
EP0639393B11997-05-28
EP0580996B11996-05-15
EP0540960A21993-05-12
EP0448009B11995-01-04
DE3808643C11989-04-27
DE2340420A11975-02-20
US5096218A1992-03-17
DE4120253A11992-12-24
EP0345453B11992-01-29
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Henshaw, Damon (Davies Collison Cave 1 Little Collins Street Melbourne, Victoria 3000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims
1. A binding for releasably holding a boot, including: a latch arranged to pivot between an open position and an engaged position for securing the boot relative to the binding; a lock element coupled to the latch; a lock mechanism for engaging the element to restrict rotation of the latch to the open position; and a release mechanism actuable, by movement of the boot out of the binding, to disengage the lock mechanism and allow rotation of the latch to the open position.
2. A binding as claimed in claim 1, wherein the lock mechanism includes a lock gate arranged whereby the element is allowed to travel past the gate as the latch pivots toward the engaged position whilst the gate serves to inhibit return movement of the element, to thereby restrict movement of the latch back to the open position, the gate being selectively displaceable relative to the element, into a release condition, to disengage the element and allow rotation of the latch toward the open position.
3. A binding for releasably holding a boot, including: a latch arranged to pivot between an open position and an engaged position for securing the boot relative to the binding; a lock element coupled to the latch; and a lock mechanism for engaging the element to restrict rotation of the latch toward the open position, wherein one of the element or the lock mechanism includes a lock gate whereby the other of the element or lock mechanism is allowed to travel past the gate as the latch pivots toward the engaged position whilst the gate serves to inhibit return movement of the latch back toward the open position, and wherein the gate is selectively displaceable relative to the other of the element or lock mechanism into a release condition to disengage the said other of the element or lock mechanism and allow rotation of the latch toward the open position.
4. A binding as claimed in claim 2 or 3, wherein the lock gate is in the form of a plate with an aperture, through which the element travels during rotation of the latch.
5. A binding as claimed in claim 3, further including a release mechanism actuable, by movement of the boot out of the binding, to release the lock mechanism from the element and allow rotation of the latch to the open position.
6. A binding as claimed in any one of claims 1,2 or 5, wherein the release mechanism includes a release device, which is displaceable in response to the boot moving in and out of the binding and a hammer which is driven against the lock mechanism responsive to movement of the device, to effect the disengagement of the lock mechanism.
7. A binding as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the lock mechanism is in the form of a friction lock.
8. A binding as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7, further including a manualrelease lever arranged to disengage the lock mechanism.
9. A binding as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the lock mechanism adopts the disengaged condition when the boot is removed from the binding and the latch is biased toward the open position such that the binding resets to an open configuration in the absence of the boot from the binding.
10. A ski with a binding as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the latch is arranged to engage a heel portion of the boot. new claims 11 to 16. Original claims 1 to 10 are unchanged.
11. 4 A binding as claimed in claim 2 or 3, wherein the lock gate is in the form of a plate with an aperture, through which the element travels during rotation of the latch.
12. 5 A binding as claimed in claim 3, further including a release mechanism actuable, by movement of the boot out of the binding, to release the lock mechanism from the element and allow rotation of the latch to the open position.
13. 6 A binding as claimed in any one of claims 1,2 or 5, wherein the release mechanism includes a release device, which is displaceable in response to the boot moving in and out of the binding and a hammer which is driven against the lock mechanism responsive to movement of the device, to effect the disengagement of the lock mechanism.
14. 7 A binding as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein the lock mechanism is in the form of a friction lock.
15. 8 A binding as claimed in any one of claims I to 7, : further including a manualrelease lever arranged to disengage the lock mechanism.
16. 9 A binding as claimed in any one of claims 1 to $, wherein the lock mechanism adopts the disengaged condition when the boot is removed from the binding and the latch is biased toward the open position such that the binding resets to an open configuration in the absence of the boot from the binding.
17. 10 A ski with a binding as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9, wherein the latch is arranged to engage a heel portion of the boot.
18. A binding for releasably holding a boot, including : a latch arranged to pivot between an open and an engaged position for securing the boot relative to the binding; a lock mechanism for restricting rotation of the latch to the open position ; and a release mechanism, responsive to absence of the boot from the binding, to disengage the lock mechanism to allow the latch to be reset to an open position for receipt of the boot.
19. A binding as claimed in claim 11, further including a manualrelease for disengaging the lock mechanism independently of the release mechanism.
20. A binding for releasably holding a boot, including : a latch arranged to pivot between an open position and an engaged position for securing the boot relative to the binding ; a lock mechanism to provide incremental locking of the latch, as the latch pivots toward the engaged position, in order to restrict movement of the latch back toward the open position.
21. A binding as claimed in claim 13, further including a release meebanism, responsive to absence of the boot from the binding, to disengage the lock mechanism to allow the latch to be reset to an open position for receipt of the boot.
22. A binding as claimed in claim 14, further including a manualrelease for disengaging the lock mechanism independently of the release mechanism.
23. A binding for releasably holding a boot, including : a latch arranged to pivot between an open position and an engaged position for securing the boot relative to the binding ; a lock element coupled to the latch ; and a lock mechanism for engaging the element to restrict rotation of the latch to the open position, wherein the lock mechanism is arranged to be minimally displaced relative to the lock element to disengage the element and allow rotation of the latch to the open position.
Description:
RELEASABLE BOOT BINDING

Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a binding particularly, but not exclusively, for a snow ski.

Background of the Invention It is known to secure a ski boot to a snow ski, or the like, by use of a binding which uses an over-centre locking mechanism to securely grip the boot. In order to ensure the boot does not unintentionally dislodge from the binding during skiing, the over-centre arrangement is configured such that a reasonably substantial force is required to either release and/or engage the mechanism.

Summary of the Invention In accordance with the invention, there is provided a binding for releasably holding a boot, including: a latch arranged to pivot between an open position and an engaged position for securing the boot relative to the binding; a lock element coupled to the latch; a lock mechanism for engaging the element to restrict rotation of the latch to the open position; and a release mechanism actuable, by movement of the boot out of the binding, to disengage the lock mechanism and allow rotation of the latch to the open position.

Preferably, the lock mechanism includes a lock gate arranged whereby the element is allowed to travel past the gate as the latch pivots toward the engaged position whilst the gate serves to inhibit return movement of the element, to thereby restrict movement of the latch back to the open position, the gate being selectively displaceable relative to the element, into a release condition, to disengage the element and allow rotation of the latch

toward the open position.

In another aspect, there is provided binding for releasably holding a boot, including: a latch arranged to pivot between an open position and an engaged position for securing the boot relative to the binding; a lock element coupled to the latch; and a lock mechanism for engaging the element to restrict rotation of the latch toward the open position, wherein one of the element or the lock mechanism includes a lock gate whereby the other of the element or lock mechanism is allowed to travel past the gate as the latch pivots toward the engaged position whilst the gate serves to inhibit return movement of the latch back toward the open position, and wherein the gate is selectively displaceable relative to the other of the element or lock mechanism into a release condition to disengage the said other of the element or lock mechanism and allow rotation of the latch toward the open position.

Preferably, the lock gate is in the form of a plate with an aperture, through which the element travels during rotation of the latch.

Preferably, the binding further includes a release mechanism actuable, by movement of the boot out of the binding, to release the lock mechanism from the element and allow rotation of the latch to the open position.

Preferably, the release mechanism includes a release device, which is displaceable in response to the boot moving in and out of the binding and a hammer which is driven against the lock mechanism responsive to movement of the device, to effect the disengagement of the lock mechanism. Preferably, the lock mechanism is in the form of a friction lock.

Preferably, the binding further includes a manual-release lever arranged to disengage the lock mechanism.

Preferably, the lock mechanism adopts the disengaged condition when the boot is removed from the binding and the latch is biased toward the open position such that the binding resets to an open configuration in the absence of the boot from the binding.

Preferably, the latch is arranged to engage a heel portion of the boot.

Brief Description of the Drawings The invention is more fully described, by way of non-limiting example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Figure 1 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a snow ski and binding; Figure 2 is a diagrammatic cross-section of a heel assembly of the binding of Figure 1, shown in an open position; Figure 3 is a view similar to Figure 2, showing the binding in an engaged position.

Detailed Description A binding 1 is shown in Figure 1 mounted to a ski 2. The binding 1 includes a mounting plate 3 which is elevated above the ski 2 at opposed ends 4,5 thereof to minimise contact between the binding and the ski to increase flexure of the ski and handling performance. A toe and heel assembly 6,7 are attached to the plate for securing a ski boot 8 therebetween.

The toe assembly 6 comprises a spring-loaded release block 9 which is arranged for limited movement relative to a housing 10 of the toe assembly, preferably in three dimensions, to allow for release of the ski boot where above threshold forces between the boot and ski arise, such as during an accident. The toe assembly may also be provided with a lug 11 which projects upwardly therefrom to use as a scraper to remove material from the sole of the boot prior to stepping into the binding.

Similar to the toe assembly 6, the heel assembly 7 also includes a release block 20 mounted to a housing 21 to allow for the heel portion 22 of the boot 8 to be released from

the binding 1 in overthreshold load conditions. As shown in more detail in figure 2, the block 20 is also biased relative to the housing 21, by a spring-loaded ram 23 which has an adjustment dial 24 for changing the level of force required to displace the release block 20 relative to the housing 21. The housing 21 forms part of a latch 30 which, in Figure 2, is in an open position awaiting receipt of the heel portion 22 of the ski boot 8.

The latch 30 itself is pivotally mounted in the heel assembly 7 for rotation about a main axis 31. A locking element 32, in the form of an elongate bar 33, is coupled to the latch via a pin 34 and follower 35 arrangement. The locking bar is arranged to pass through a locking mechanism 40 which includes a lock gate 41 formed by an aperture 42 in a locking plate 43 which is mounted for pivotal movement about one end 44 thereof. As the latch 30 rotates in an anti-clockwise direction, as viewed, the element 32 travels through the locking plate 43 in a direction indicated by arrow A. Return movement of the locking element 32 is prevented by frictional engagement between the locking plate 43 and the element 32 so that rotation of the latch toward the open position is inhibited. The locking plate 43 is displaceable relative to the element 32 by pivoting about the end 44 in an anti- clockwise direction, as viewed, to release the friction engagement with the element 32 and allow free movement of the latch 30 back to the open position. A bias means 45 is provided in the form of a spring 46 attached to the remote end 47of the element 32 so as to bias the latch toward the open position when the lock mechanism is disengaged.

The lock mechanism 40 may be disengaged either by way of a manual release handle 50 which may be rotated downwardly and clockwise, as viewed, so that a projection 51 engages the lock plate 43 and pivots it to the disengaged position. Alternatively, an automatic release mechanism 60 is provided in the form of a release device 61 which is displaceable in response to the boot 8 being removed from the binding which in turn drives a hammer 62 against the locking plate 43. The device preferably includes articulated parts 63,64 coupled together to form an A-frame structure which is substantially flattened when the boot is secured within the binding, at which time, the hammer 62 is retracted away from the locking mechanism 40. A spring 65 may be provided to bias the hammer 62 toward the locking mechanism 40 and raise the articulated arms into the position shown

when the ski boot is removed from the binding.

In order to engage the boot 8 in the binding 1, a toe portion 12 of the boot is firstly positioned in the toe assembly 6 and the heel portion 22 of the boot 8 is then lowered into the heel assembly 7 so that the boot 8 flattens the device 61 of the automatic release mechanism 60 and retracts the hammer 62 whilst the latch 30 is simultaneously rotated in an anti-clockwise direction to engage the heel portion 22 and the locking element 32 is driven through the locking mechanism 40 to secure the latch 30 from rotation back toward the open position. Figure 3 shows the binding with the latch in the engaged position.

If the above threshold forces are applied between the ski boot 8 and the ski 2 the heel portion 22 may force the release block 20 of the heel assembly 7 back toward the housing 21, which results in the boot moving out of the binding and that in turn triggers the automatic release mechanism 60 to fire the hammer 62 against the lock plate 43 and to thereby allow free rotation of the latch 30 to the open position in order to reset the binding 1 for subsequent return of the boot 8 into the binding 1. Alternatively, the boot 8 may firstly release from the toe assembly, in which case however, the latch 30 may still be automatically be reset to an open position by virtue of the automatic release mechanism 60 again disengaging the locking mechanism 40. As a further alternative, the manual release lever 50 may be actuated to effect disengagement of the locking mechanism 40.

As may be appreciated from the above, the above described binding has a locking mechanism 40 which allows for ease of entry of a boot into the binding and minimal force to manually release the boot. Also, the binding may be automatically reset to an open position which significantly increases the ease and convenience of using the binding, as compared to conventional over-centre locking mechanisms which require substantial force to be applied to either release or reset the binding. The binding, accordingly, has particular application to snow skis where application of substantial force to a ski to secure a boot in a binding is perhaps in some circumstances difficult to apply. However, it should be appreciated that the binding may also have application to, for example, snowboards or skis other than snow skis.

The invention has been described by way of non-limiting example only and many modifications and variations may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention described. For example, the structure of the lock element and lock mechanism may be reversed such that the lock element is in the form of a gate and the lock mechanism is instead arranged to pass through the gate for locking engagement therewith, as the latch is pivoted.