US20020139218A1 - Bicycle control device - Google Patents

Bicycle control device Download PDF

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Publication number
US20020139218A1
US20020139218A1 US09/823,287 US82328701A US2002139218A1 US 20020139218 A1 US20020139218 A1 US 20020139218A1 US 82328701 A US82328701 A US 82328701A US 2002139218 A1 US2002139218 A1 US 2002139218A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
direction
winding
control mechanism
brake
release
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US09/823,287
Inventor
Akira Tsumiyama
Nobukatsu Hara
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Shimano Inc
Original Assignee
Shimano Inc
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Filing date
Publication date
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Priority to US09/823,287 priority Critical patent/US20020139218A1/en
Assigned to SHIMANO INC. reassignment SHIMANO INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HARA, NOBUKATSU, TSUMIYAMA, AKIRA
Priority claimed from TW91104065A external-priority patent/TW558538B/en
Publication of US20020139218A1 publication Critical patent/US20020139218A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62MRIDER PROPULSION OF WHEELED VEHICLES OR SLEDGES; POWERED PROPULSION OF SLEDGES OR SINGLE-TRACK CYCLES; TRANSMISSIONS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR SUCH VEHICLES
    • B62M25/00Actuators for gearing speed-change mechanisms specially adapted for cycles
    • B62M25/02Actuators for gearing speed-change mechanisms specially adapted for cycles with mechanical transmitting systems, e.g. cables, levers
    • B62M25/04Actuators for gearing speed-change mechanisms specially adapted for cycles with mechanical transmitting systems, e.g. cables, levers hand actuated
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62KCYCLES; CYCLE FRAMES; CYCLE STEERING DEVICES; RIDER-OPERATED TERMINAL CONTROLS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR CYCLES; CYCLE AXLE SUSPENSIONS; CYCLE SIDE-CARS, FORECARS, OR THE LIKE
    • B62K23/00Rider-operated controls specially adapted for cycles, i.e. means for initiating control operations, e.g. levers, grips
    • B62K23/02Rider-operated controls specially adapted for cycles, i.e. means for initiating control operations, e.g. levers, grips hand actuated
    • B62K23/04Twist grips
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T74/00Machine element or mechanism
    • Y10T74/20Control lever and linkage systems
    • Y10T74/20012Multiple controlled elements
    • Y10T74/20018Transmission control
    • Y10T74/20037Occupant propelled vehicle
    • Y10T74/20043Transmission controlled by flexible cable
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T74/00Machine element or mechanism
    • Y10T74/20Control lever and linkage systems
    • Y10T74/20012Multiple controlled elements
    • Y10T74/20018Transmission control
    • Y10T74/20073Control of plural mechanisms [e.g., control of transmission and control of 4 - wheel drive]
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T74/00Machine element or mechanism
    • Y10T74/20Control lever and linkage systems
    • Y10T74/20207Multiple controlling elements for single controlled element
    • Y10T74/20256Steering and controls assemblies
    • Y10T74/20268Reciprocating control elements
    • Y10T74/2028Handle bar type
    • Y10T74/20287Flexible control element
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T74/00Machine element or mechanism
    • Y10T74/20Control lever and linkage systems
    • Y10T74/20396Hand operated
    • Y10T74/20402Flexible transmitter [e.g., Bowden cable]
    • Y10T74/2042Flexible transmitter [e.g., Bowden cable] and hand operator
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T74/00Machine element or mechanism
    • Y10T74/20Control lever and linkage systems
    • Y10T74/20396Hand operated
    • Y10T74/20402Flexible transmitter [e.g., Bowden cable]
    • Y10T74/2042Flexible transmitter [e.g., Bowden cable] and hand operator
    • Y10T74/20438Single rotatable lever [e.g., for bicycle brake or derailleur]

Abstract

A bicycle control device is disclosed having a control lever that is operable in a first direction to operate the brake control mechanism, a second direction to operate the shift control mechanism in the winding direction and a third direction to operate the shift control mechanism in the release direction. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, when viewed from the perspective of a rider on the bicycle, the first direction is the direction of movement of the lever toward the handlebar. The second direction is the direction of movement of the control lever downward and the third direction is the direction of movement of the control lever upward. In a more preferred embodiment, the second and third directions are perpendicular to the first direction.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to a bicycle control device mountable on the handlebar of a bicycle for operating cable actuated bicycle components. More particularly, the invention relates to a bicycle control device having a control lever that operates both the brake mechanism and the gear shifting mechanism. [0001]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Generally, when riding a bicycle, it is desirable to be able to operate the brake control mechanism and the shift control mechanism of the bicycle quickly and easily. Known bicycle devices have made it easier for riders to shift and brake while maintaining control of the handlebar by providing a single lever for operation of the shifting mechanism. However, the known devices still require the removal of the rider's thumb from the handlebar for shifting. To prepare for an unexpected need for braking, experienced riders prefer to keep an index finger and/or a middle finger on the brake lever at all times, especially in rugged conditions such as off-road riding. When the fingers are on the brake lever, it is important to maintain one's thumb on the handlebar to have better control of the bicycle. By requiring the removal of the rider's thumb from the handlebar for shifting, the known control devices reduce the rider's control of the bicycle during shifting. [0002]
  • Some devices have attempted to alleviate this problem by providing a shift control device that is operable in the winding direction using the rider's brake-operating fingers. The problem with the known devices is that the rider is still required to remove his fingers from the brake lever to operate the shift control mechanism in a release direction. Additionally, the known devices are designed for use with drop-bar type handlebars and cannot be used with flat-bar type handlebars. [0003]
  • Accordingly, it is desirable to provide a bicycle control device that enables the rider to operate the brake control mechanism and shift control mechanism of a bicycle without requiring the removal of the rider's fingers from the handlebar or from the brake control lever. [0004]
  • It is also desirable to provide a shift control device that can be operated while the rider is gripping handlebar extensions. [0005]
  • SUMMARY OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • A bicycle control device is disclosed having a control lever that is operable in a first direction to operate the brake control mechanism, a second direction to operate the shift control mechanism in the winding direction and a third direction to operate the shift control mechanism in the release direction. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, when viewed from the perspective of a rider on the bicycle, the first direction is the direction of movement of the lever toward the handlebar. The second direction is the direction of movement of the control lever downward and the third direction is the direction of movement of the control lever upward. In a more preferred embodiment, the second and third directions are perpendicular to the first direction. [0006]
  • The brake control mechanism preferably includes a brake lever base pivotably connected on the bracket wherein the operation of the control lever in the first direction pivots the brake lever base on the bracket and pulls a brake cable attached to a cable hook on the brake lever base. [0007]
  • The shift control mechanism preferably includes a support shaft fixedly connected to the brake lever base of the brake control mechanism. A winding member is rotatable in the winding direction and in the release direction about the support shaft to wind and release a shifting cable thereon. A winding mechanism is provided having a winding pawl engageable with a winding latch to rotate the winding member in a winding direction. The winding member is preferably biased in the release direction. To limit the rotation of the winding member in the release direction, the bicycle control device includes a release and hold mechanism. The release and hold mechanism preferably includes a first latching plate having a releasing latch and a second latching plate having an interrupting latch wherein the release pawl engages with the releasing latch and an interrupting pawl engages with the intermediate latch alternately to limit the rotation of the winding member in the release direction. [0008]
  • The bicycle control device of the present invention is preferably configured to be used with a flat-bar type handlebar. In another embodiment of the invention, the bicycle control device can be used with a flat-bar type handlebar having handlebar extensions extending upward from the handlebar. In this embodiment, the rider is able to operate the control lever in a winding and release direction while gripping the handlebar extensions. [0009]
  • In another embodiment of the invention, the bicycle control device includes a release lever that is configured to be operable by a rider's thumb when the rider is gripping the handlebar. [0010]
  • Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description. It is to be understood, however, that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating preferred embodiments of the present invention, are given by way of illustration and not limitation. Many changes and modifications within the scope of the present invention may be made without departing from the spirit thereof, and the invention includes all such modifications.[0011]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The invention may be more readily understood by referring to the accompanying drawings in which: [0012]
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the bicycle control device of the present invention as attached to a bicycle handlebar; [0013]
  • FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the bicycle control device of the present invention; [0014]
  • FIG. 3 is a top cross-sectional view of the shift control mechanism of the present invention in a neutral position; [0015]
  • FIGS. 4[0016] a-4 e are top cross-sectional views of the shift control mechanism of the present invention in operation in a winding direction;
  • FIGS. 5[0017] a-5 c are top cross-sectional views of the shift control mechanism of the present invention depicting the motion of the positioning pawl when the control device is operated in a release direction;
  • FIGS. 6[0018] a-6 c are top cross-sectional views of the shift control mechanism of the present invention depicting the motion of the limiting pawl when the control device is operated in a release direction;
  • FIGS. 7[0019] a-7 c are side views of the brake mechanism of the present invention;
  • FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the control device of the present invention attached to a handlebar equipped with handlebar extensions; and [0020]
  • FIG. 9 is a back view of another embodiment of the control device of the present invention having a supplemental release lever. [0021]
  • Like numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views of the drawings.[0022]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the bicycle control device [0023] 100 of the present invention is attachable to the handlebar 200 of a bicycle by a bracket 110. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the handlebar 200 is a flat-bar type handlebar having a cylindrical body 210 that extends substantially along a handlebar axis 220. The bicycle control device 100 is secured to the handlebar 200 of a bicycle preferably by a clamp band 120, a bolt 121 and a nut 122, as best shown in FIG. 2.
  • The bicycle control device [0024] 100 includes a control lever 150 that, as will be described in further detail below, operates cable actuated bicycle components such as the brake control mechanism 102 and the shift control mechanism 300. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the control lever 150 is configured such that operation of the control lever 150 in a first direction, B, operates the brake control mechanism, in a second direction, W, operates the shift control mechanism in a winding direction, and in a third direction, R, operates the shift control mechanism in a release direction. In a more preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, when viewed from the position of the rider on the bicycle, the first direction, B, is the direction of movement of the control lever 150 from a neutral position toward the handlebar 200 of the bicycle; the second direction, W, is the direction of movement of the control lever 150 from a neutral position downward; and the third direction, R, is the direction of movement of the control lever 150 from a neutral position upward.
  • As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the brake control mechanism [0025] 102 of the bicycle control device 100 preferably includes a brake cable receiving bore 111 and a brake cable adjuster 112. The brake cable receiving bore 111 receives the outer casing 172 of the brake cable 170 and the brake cable 170 is threaded into the bracket 110. The brake cable adjuster 112 controls the brake cable tension and can be adjusted to a desired tension level.
  • As best shown in FIG. 2, a brake lever base [0026] 130 is pivotally connected to the bracket 110 by a pivot pin 131. To actuate the brake cable 170, a cable hook 160 is pivotably connected to the brake lever base 130 by pivot pin 161. The cable hook 160 is configured to receive the end of the brake cable 170 such that a movement of the cable hook 160 corresponds to a movement in the brake cable 170.
  • According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the shift control mechanism [0027] 300 includes a pivot shaft 310 and a winding member 370 rotatably supported on the pivot shaft 310. The winding member 370 includes a shift cable attachment portion 371 and a winding groove 372. The shift cable attachment portion 371 securely receives an end of the shift cable 140 and the winding groove 372 receives the shift cable 140 as it is wound on the winding member 370.
  • The rotation of the winding member [0028] 370 operates to wind or release a shift cable thereon to control a gear change mechanism, such as a derailleur, in a manner known by those skilled in the art. The winding member 370 rotates about the pivot shaft 310, which is preferably fixedly attached to the top plane 132 of the brake lever base 130. In a more preferred embodiment of the invention, the pivot shaft 310 is press fitted perpendicular to the top plane 132 of the brake lever base 130.
  • In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the shift control mechanism [0029] 300 includes an operating plate 320, a winding plate 330, a releasing plate 340 and a fixed plate 350. The operating plate 320 is rotatably supported on the pivot shaft 310 and includes a brake lever mounting portion 321 and an operating abutment 322. The brake lever mounting portion 321 of the operating plate 320 is preferably fixedly connected to the control lever 150 via fasteners 151 such that the control lever 150 and operating plate 320 rotate together about the pivot shaft 310 when the control lever 150 is operated.
  • The winding plate [0030] 330 and releasing plate 340 are each rotatably supported on the pivot shaft 310. The winding plate 330 includes a winding abutment 331 and the releasing plate 340 includes a releasing abutment 341 extending therefrom. The fixed plate 350 is fixedly supported on the pivot shaft 310. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the fixed plate 350 is fixedly connected to a mounting member 133 of the brake lever base 130. The fixed plate 350 includes a fixed abutment 351 and a cable stop 354. The cable stop 354 is configured to receive an end of the shift cable 140 (shown in FIG. 1). As best shown in FIG. 1, the outer casing 142 of the shift cable 140 is received by the shift cable adjuster 360 and the shift cable 140 is threaded through the shift cable receiving bore 361 of the shift cable adjuster 360 to the cable stop 354. The shift cable adjuster 360 threadingly engaged with the cable stop 354 for adjusting the tension of the shift cable 140.
  • In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the winding abutment [0031] 331 of the winding plate 330 and the release abutment 341 of the release plate 340 are biased toward the fixed abutment 351 of the fixed plate 350 by a first spring S1. In a neutral position, the winding abutment 331 abuts a first side 352 of the fixed abutment 351 and the releasing abutment 341 abuts a second side 353 of the fixed abutment 351. The operating abutment 322 is preferably positioned between the winding abutment 331 and the releasing abutment 341. As will be described in further detail below, the operating abutment 322 moves the winding abutment 331 in the winding direction, W, when the control lever 150 is rotated in the winding direction and moves the releasing abutment 341 in the release direction, R, when the control lever 150 is rotated in the release direction.
  • The winding member [0032] 370 is preferably biased in the release direction, R, by second spring, S2. To facilitate the rotation of the winding member 370, a first latch plate 380 and a second latch plate 390 are fixedly coupled to winding member 370 such that the winding member 370, the first latch plate 380 and the second latch plate 390 rotate about the pivot shaft 310 simultaneously, as a unitary body. To operate the winding member 370 in a winding direction, a winding mechanism 104 is provided including a winding latch 381 defined peripherally of the first latch plate 380 having a plurality of teeth 383, a winding pawl 410 for engaging the teeth 383 of the winding latch 381, and a third spring S3 for urging the winding pawl 410 toward an engaging position. The winding pawl 410 is preferably rotatably supported on a pivot shaft 323 fixed on the operating plate 320.
  • To operate the winding member [0033] 370 in a release direction, a hold and release mechanism 106 is provided including an interrupting latch 391 defined peripherally on the second latch plate 390 having a plurality of teeth 392 and an interrupting pawl 420 for engaging the teeth 392 of the interrupting latch 390. The interrupting pawl 420 is preferably freely rotatably supported on a pivot shaft 355 that is fixedly connected to an upper plate 356. The hold and release mechanism 106 further includes a positioning latch 382 having a plurality of teeth 384 defined peripherally on the first latch plate 380, a positioning pawl 430 for engaging the teeth 384 of the positioning latch 382, and a fourth spring S4 for urging the positioning pawl 430 toward an engaging position. The positioning pawl 430 is preferably rotatably supported on the pivot shaft 355. The positioning latch 382 is preferably spaced apart from the winding latch 381.
  • The upper plate [0034] 356 is fixedly supported on the cable stop 354, the pivot shaft 355 and the main pivot shaft 310. To securely retain the parts installed on the main pivot shaft 310, a nut 440 is threaded onto the main pivot shaft 310.
  • FIG. 3 depicts the shift control mechanism [0035] 300 of the present invention in a neutral position. In the neutral state, the operating plate 320 remains stationary. The winding abutment 331 abuts the first side 352 of the fixed abutment 351 and the releasing abutment 341 abuts the second side 353 of the fixed abutment 351. In a neutral state, the operating abutment 322 is positioned between the winding abutment 331 and the releasing abutment 341. The winding abutment 331 and the releasing abutment 341 are preferably biased toward the fixed abutment 351, effectively squeezing the operating abutment 322 and the fixed abutment 351 therebetween.
  • In the neutral position, the winding pawl [0036] 410 preferably rests on a cam 357 formed peripherally on the fixed plate 350. The interrupting pawl 420 is positioned between the interrupting latch 391 and an inside edge 342 of the releasing abutment 341. Because the interrupting pawl 420 is not biased toward the interrupting latch 391, in the neutral state, the interrupting pawl 420 does not engage the teeth 392 of the interrupting latch 391.
  • In the neutral state, the winding member [0037] 370 is biased in the release direction (clockwise in FIG. 3) by second spring S2 and by the spring tension of the gear change mechanism (not shown) that is transmitted via the shift cable 140 (shown in FIG. 1). To maintain the position of the winding member 370, the positioning pawl 430 engages the positioning latch 382 thereby holding the winding member 370, the first latch plate 380 and second latch plate 390 in a stationary position.
  • FIGS. 4[0038] a through 4 e depict the operation of the shift control mechanism 300 in a winding direction. To actuate the shift control mechanism 300 in a winding direction W, the control lever 150 is activated in a winding direction. As discussed above, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, as viewed from the rider's perspective, the winding direction W is defined as the direction of movement of the control lever 150 from the neutral position downward. In a more preferred embodiment of the invention, the winding direction W is perpendicular to the braking direction B. In FIGS. 4a through 4 e, the elements that do not relate to the winding operation are eliminated for ease of understanding.
  • FIG. 4[0039] a depicts the shift control mechanism 300 of the present invention in a neutral position. Because the operating plate 320 is fixedly attached to the control lever 150, as the control lever 150 is operated in the winding direction, the operating plate also operates in the winding direction. As best shown in FIG. 4b, the rotation of the operating plate 320, causes the winding pawl 410 to slide off of the fixed plate cam 357. Because the winding pawl 410 is biased toward the winding latch 381, the winding pawl 410 engages one of the teeth 383 of the winding latch 381. When the winding pawl has engaged one of the teeth 383 of the winding latch, rotation of the operating plate 320 translates to a rotation of the first latch plate 380.
  • As best shown in FIG. 4[0040] c, the rotation of the first latch plate 380 driven by winding pawl 410 causes the positioning pawl 430 to disengage from the teeth 384 of the positioning latch 382. As the first latch plate 380 is further rotated, the positioning pawl 430 moves toward a tooth of the positioning latch 382 adjacent the previously engaged tooth. Because the first latch plate 380 is fixedly connected to the winding member 370, the winding member 370 rotates simultaneously with the first latch plate 380 in the winding direction W, thus winding the shift cable thereon.
  • As best shown in FIG. 4[0041] d, because the positioning pawl 430 is biased toward the positioning latch 382, the positioning pawl 430 engages a tooth of the positioning latch 382 adjacent the previously engaged tooth. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the positioning pawl 430 produces an audible click when the positioning pawl 430 engages the positioning latch 382. Moreover, the bicycle rider can feel the snap of the positioning pawl 430 engaging the positioning latch 382. The audible click and the snapping motion alerts the rider that the positioning pawl 430 has advance by one tooth completing one step of a multi-step shift mechanism. Upon completion of the one step shift, the operating plate 320 returns to the neutral position, as shown in FIG. 4e.
  • In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the shift control mechanism [0042] 300 of the present invention is configured to enable the rider to shift more than one step at a time, and more preferably to shift up to three steps at a time. To perform a multi-step winding operation, the bicycle rider rotates the control lever 150 further in the winding direction W. The shift control mechanism 300 operates as describe above in that the winding pawl 410 engages the winding latch 381 driving the winding latch 381 in the winding direction W. The positioning pawl 430 disengages from the positioning latch 382 and engages the tooth adjacent the previously engaged tooth. However, in the multi-step winding operation, the bicycle rider continues to rotate the control lever 150 causing the first latch plate 380 to rotate further, and positioning pawl 430 to continue to engage neighboring teeth 384 of the positioning latch 382 until the first latch plate 380 ceases to rotate. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, a winding stopper 324 is provided on the operating plate 320 for engaging with the mounting member 133 (shown in FIG. 2) of the brake lever base 130 to limit the angle of rotation of the operating plate 320 in the winding direction W.
  • To operate the shift control mechanism [0043] 300 in the release direction R, the control lever 150 is rotated in the release direction. As previously discussed, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, as viewed from the rider's perspective, the release direction R is defined as the direction of movement of the control lever 150 from the neutral position upward. In a more preferred embodiment of the invention, the release direction R is perpendicular to the braking direction B. To operate the control lever 150 in a release direction, the rider preferably pulls the control lever 150 upward using the rider's index finger, middle finger or both the index and middle fingers. Alternatively, the rider fingers can be placed under the control lever 150 and the control lever can be moved upward using the nail side of the fingers. One of the advantages of the present invention is that the control lever 150 can be operated without requiring the removal of the rider's thumb from the handlebar 200. Accordingly, the rider can maintain a control of the handlebar 200 while shifting gears.
  • The releasing operation of a preferred embodiment of the shift control mechanism [0044] 300 is now described. For ease of understanding, the movement of the positioning pawl 430 and the interrupting pawl 420 are shown separately. FIGS. 5a through 5 c depict the movement of the positioning pawl 430 during the releasing operation. FIGS. 6a through 6 c depict the movement of the interrupting pawl 420 during the releasing operation. FIG. 5a corresponds temporally to FIG. 6a, FIG. 5b corresponds temporally to FIG. 6b, and FIG. 5c corresponds temporally to FIG. 6c. Accordingly, the motion depicted in FIG. 5b, for example, occurs simultaneously with the motion depicted in FIG. 6b.
  • FIGS. 5[0045] a and 6 a illustrate the shift control mechanism 300 in a neutral position. To release the shift cable, the control lever 150 is operated in the release direction R, causing the operating plate 320 to rotate in the release direction. In reference to FIGS. 5b and 6 b, as the operating plate 320 is rotated in the release direction, the operating abutment 322 pushes the releasing abutment 341, causing the releasing plate 340 to rotate. As shown in FIG. 5b, the release abutment 341 contacts the positioning pawl 430 and disengages the positioning pawl 430 from the positioning latch 382. Because the first latch plate 380 is biased in a release direction, the disengagement of the positioning pawl 430 allows the first latch plate 380, and hence the winding member 370, to rotate freely in the release direction R. To limit the rotation of the winding member, the releasing abutment 341 includes an inside edge 342 that is configured to contact the interrupting pawl 420 and push the interrupting pawl 420 into engagement with the interrupting latch 391. The engagement of the interrupting pawl 420 with the interrupting latch 391 limits the rotation of the winding member 370 when the positioning pawl 430 is disengaged from the positioning latch 382.
  • In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the rider can feel and hear the click produced by the engagement of the interrupting pawl [0046] 420 with the interrupting latch 391. Upon hearing or feeling the click, the rider can release the control lever 150 returning the operating plate 320 to its neutral position. In reference to FIG. 5c, as the operating plate 320 is returned to its neutral position, the positioning pawl 430 engages a tooth on the positioning latch adjacent the previously engaged tooth. In reference to FIG. 6b, as the operating plate is returned to its neutral position, the inside edge 342 of the releasing abutment 341 disengages from the interrupting pawl 420 causing the interrupting pawl to disengage from the interrupting latch 391. The cable releasing operation for a one step shift is completed and the operating plate 320 returns to its neutral position.
  • The angle of rotation of the operating plate [0047] 320 is preferably limited in the releasing direction by the contact of release stopper 325 with the mounting member 133 of the brake lever base 130 (shown in FIG. 2). In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the release stopper 325 limits the rotation of the winding member 370 in the release direction to one step.
  • The drawings depict a shift control mechanism for a nine step shift operation. However, the present invention is not limited to a nine step shift operation and can be configured to vary the number of steps available. [0048]
  • The operation of the brake mechanism of the present invention is described with reference to FIGS. 7[0049] a and 7 b. To simplify the illustration, the shift control mechanism 300 of the present invention is not shown in FIGS. 7a and 7 b. In a preferred embodiment, the brake cable 170 is attached to the cable hook 160 and the outer casing 172 of the brake cable 170 is attached to the brake cable adjuster 112. By pulling the control lever 150 toward the handlebar 200, the brake base lever 130 pivots about the pivot pin 131, and the brake cable 170 is extracted from the outer casing 172. The movement of the brake cable 170 actuates the braking mechanism in a manner known by those skilled in the art. If desired, the braking operation can be performed simultaneously with the shifting operation.
  • The bicycle control device [0050] 100 of the present invention is shown, in FIG. 8, on a handlebar 200 having handlebar extensions 230. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, handlebar extensions 230 extend substantially perpendicularly upward from the handlebar 200 and provide the bicycle rider with an alternative position to grip and maneuver the handlebar 200. As shown in FIG. 8, the control lever 150 is located proximal to the handlebar extensions 230 and is dimensioned such that a rider can operate the control lever 150 in the winding and releasing directions W, R while maintaining a grip on the handlebar extensions 230.
  • Another embodiment of the shift control device [0051] 500 is shown in FIG. 9. Shift control device 500 includes a release lever 510 extending directly from the releasing plate 240. The release lever 510 includes a control portion 520 to facilitate the activation of the release lever 510 by a rider's thumb. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the release lever extends below the bracket 110 and is positioned such that the control portion 520 of the release lever 510 is easily accessible to the rider's thumb when the rider is gripping the handlebar 200. By providing the release lever 510, the rider is given an additional control option. The rider can utilize the release lever 510 to perform a release operation even if the rider's fingers are not on the control lever 150.
  • The description of the shift control device and the corresponding drawings is directed to a shift control device to be installed on the right hand side of a bicycle handlebar when viewed from the rider's perspective. The shift control device installed on the left hand side of the bicycle handlebar is substantially the mirror image of the shift control device of the right hand side. [0052]
  • The embodiments described above are exemplary embodiments of a bicycle control device. Those skilled in the art may now make numerous uses of, and departures from, the above-described embodiments without departing from the inventive concepts disclosed herein. Accordingly, the present invention is to be defined solely by the scope of the following claims. [0053]

Claims (26)

What is claimed is:
1. A bicycle control device, comprising:
a brake control mechanism;
a shift control mechanism having a winding direction and a release direction;
a control lever operatively connected to the brake control mechanism and the shift control mechanism;
wherein the control lever is operable in a brake operating plane to operate the brake control mechanism; and
wherein the control lever is operable in a shifting plane to operate the shift control mechanism in the winding direction and in the release direction.
2. The bicycle control device of claim 1 wherein the winding direction is the direction of movement of the control lever downward, and the release direction is the direction of movement of the control lever upward.
3. The bicycle control device of claim 1 wherein the brake operating plane is substantially perpendicular to the shifting plane.
4. The bicycle control device of claim 1 wherein, in the shifting plane, the control lever is pivotable between an upshift position, a neutral position and a downshift position, wherein the upshift position is on a first side of the neutral position and the downshift position is on a second side of the neutral position opposite the first side.
5. The bicycle control device of claim 1 wherein the brake control mechanism comprises:
a bracket;
a brake lever base pivotably connected to the bracket;
a cable hook connected to the brake lever base, the cable hook configured to receive a brake cable; and
wherein the operation of the control lever in the brake operating plane pivots the brake lever base on the bracket and actuates the cable hook.
6. The bicycle control device of claim 1 wherein the shift control mechanism comprises:
a support shaft;
a winding member rotatable in the winding direction and in the release direction about the support shaft, the winding member configured to receive a gear-shifting cable and wind the gear-shifting cable thereon when the winding member is rotated in the winding direction and release the gear-shifting cable when the winding member is rotated in the release direction;
a winding mechanism operatively connected to the winding member; and
a release and hold mechanism operatively connected to the winding member.
7. The bicycle control device of claim 6 wherein the winding mechanism comprises a winding latch and a winding pawl configured to cooperate with the winding latch.
8. The bicycle control device of claim 6 wherein the release and hold mechanism comprises:
a first latching plate having a first latching segment formed at an outer circumferential edge of the first latching plate;
a second latching plate having a second latching segment formed at an outer circumferential edge of the second latching plate;
a positioning pawl configured to engage with the first latching segment of the first latching plate;
an intermediate pawl configured to engage with the second latching segment of the second latching plate;
the intermediate pawl and positioning pawl alternately engaging the corresponding second latching segment and first latching segment when the winding member operates in a release direction.
9. The bicycle control device of claim 8 wherein the winding member is biased in the release direction.
10. The bicycle control device of claim 9 wherein the positioning pawl is biased toward the first latching segment formed on the first latching plate.
11. The bicycle control device of claim 10 wherein the brake control mechanism comprises:
a bracket;
a brake lever base pivotably connected to the bracket;
a cable hook connected to the brake lever base, the cable hook configured to receive a brake cable;
wherein the operation of the control lever in the brake operating plane pivots the brake lever base on the bracket and actuates the cable hook; and
wherein the support shaft is fixedly attached to the brake lever base.
12. A bicycle control device, comprising:
a brake control mechanism;
a shift control mechanism having a winding direction and a release direction;
a control lever operatively connected to the brake control mechanism and the shift control mechanism; and
wherein the control lever is operable in a first direction to operate the brake control mechanism, a second direction to operate the shift control mechanism in the winding direction and a third direction to operate the shift control mechanism in the release direction.
13. The bicycle control device of claim 12 wherein the second and third directions lie along the same line.
14. The bicycle control device of claim 13 wherein the first direction is substantially perpendicular to the second and third directions.
15. A bicycle control device attachable to the bicycle handlebar, the bicycle control device comprising:
a brake control mechanism;
a shift control mechanism having a winding direction and a release direction;
a control lever operatively connected to the brake control mechanism and the shift control mechanism;
wherein the control lever is pivotable about a first axis to operate the brake control mechanism; and
wherein the control lever is pivotable about a second axis to operate the shift control mechanism in the winding direction and in the release direction.
16. The bicycle control device of claim 15 wherein the first axis is substantially perpendicular to the second axis.
17. The bicycle control device of claim 15 wherein the handlebar comprises a flat-bar type handlebar.
18. A bicycle control device, comprising:
a brake control mechanism having a bracket, a brake lever base pivotably connected to the bracket, and a cable hook connected to the brake lever base, the cable hook configured to receive a brake cable;
a shift control mechanism having:
a support shaft fixedly connected to the brake lever base of the brake control mechanism;
a winding member rotatable in the winding direction and in the release direction about the support shaft, the winding member biased in the release direction and configured to receive a gear-shifting cable, wherein the gear-shifting cable is wound on the winding member when the winding member is rotated in the winding direction and released when the winding member is rotated in the release direction;
a winding mechanism comprising a winding latch and a winding pawl biased toward the winding latch and configured to cooperate with the winding latch to rotate the winding member in a winding direction; and
a release and hold mechanism comprising a first latching plate having a first latching segment, a second latching plate having a second latching segment, a positioning pawl biased toward the first latching segment and configured to engage with the first latching segment, an intermediate pawl configured to engage with the second latching segment, wherein the intermediate pawl and positioning pawl alternately engage the corresponding second latching segment and first latching segment when the winding member operates in the release direction; and
a control lever operatively connected to the brake control mechanism and the shift control mechanism wherein the control lever is operable in a first direction to operate the brake control mechanism, a second direction to operate the shift control mechanism in the winding direction and a third direction to operate the shift control mechanism in the release direction.
19. The bicycle control device of claim 18, further comprising:
a fixed plate fixedly connected to the control lever;
a releasing plate biased toward the fixed plate from a first direction;
a winding plate biased toward the fixed plate from a second direction, opposite the first direction;
an operating plate operatively connected to the releasing plate and the winding plate wherein during a release operation, the operating plate operates the release plate in the release direction and wherein during a winding operation, the operating plate operates the winding plate in the winding direction.
20. The bicycle control device of claim 19 further comprising a supplemental release lever extending from the releasing plate.
21. A shift control mechanism, comprising:
a support shaft;
a winding member rotatable in a winding direction and in a release direction about the support shaft, the winding member biased in the release direction and configured to receive a gear-shifting cable, wherein the gear-shifting cable is wound on the winding member when the winding member is rotated in the winding direction and released when the winding member is rotated in the release direction;
a winding mechanism comprising a winding latch and a winding pawl biased toward the winding latch and configured to cooperate with the winding latch to rotate the winding member in a winding direction;
a release and hold mechanism comprising a first latching plate having a first latching segment, a second latching plate having a second latching segment, a positioning pawl biased toward the first latching segment and configured to engage with the first latching segment, an intermediate pawl configured to engage with the second latching segment, wherein the intermediate pawl and positioning pawl alternately engage the corresponding second latching segment and first latching segment when the winding member operates in the release direction; and
a control lever operable in a first direction to operate the shift control mechanism in the winding direction and a second direction to operate the shift control mechanism in the release direction.
22. The shift control mechanism of claim 21, further comprising:
a fixed plate fixedly connected to the control lever;
a releasing plate biased toward the fixed plate from a first direction;
a winding plate biased toward the fixed plate from a second direction, opposite the first direction;
an operating plate operatively connected to the releasing plate and the winding plate wherein during a release operation, the operating plate operates the release plate in the release direction and wherein during a winding operation, the operating plate operates the winding plate in the winding direction.
23. A method of operating a shift control mechanism and a brake control mechanism, comprising the steps of:
providing a shift control mechanism operative in a winding direction and a release direction, a brake control mechanism and a control lever;
actuating the control lever in a first direction to operate the brake control mechanism;
actuating the control lever in a second direction to operate the shift control mechanism in the winding direction; and
actuating the control lever in a third direction to operate the shift control mechanism in the release direction.
24. The operating method of claim 23 wherein the second and third directions lie along the same line.
25. The operating method of claim 24 wherein the first direction is perpendicular to the second and third directions.
26. A method of operating a shift control mechanism and a brake control mechanism attached to a handlebar using a rider's fingers:
providing a shift control mechanism operative in a winding direction and a release direction, a brake control mechanism having a brake lever; and
actuating the shift control mechanism in the winding direction and the release direction while maintaining the rider's fingers on the brake lever and the rider's thumb on the handlebar.
US09/823,287 2001-03-30 2001-03-30 Bicycle control device Abandoned US20020139218A1 (en)

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US09/823,287 US20020139218A1 (en) 2001-03-30 2001-03-30 Bicycle control device
US09/995,060 US6647823B2 (en) 2001-03-30 2001-11-26 Bicycle control device
TW91104065A TW558538B (en) 2001-03-30 2002-03-05 Bicycle control device
EP20020005637 EP1245483B1 (en) 2001-03-30 2002-03-12 Bicycle control device
DE60234065T DE60234065D1 (en) 2001-03-30 2002-03-12 Bicycle control device
AT02005637T AT446241T (en) 2001-03-30 2002-03-12 Bike control device
JP2002085603A JP3769237B2 (en) 2001-03-30 2002-03-26 Bicycle control device and shift control mechanism
CNB021082243A CN1304240C (en) 2001-03-30 2002-03-27 Bicycle control device
CN 200610109139 CN1911725A (en) 2001-03-30 2002-03-27 Bicycle control device
CZ20021106A CZ20021106A3 (en) 2001-03-30 2002-03-28 Bicycle control device
US10/371,687 US6691591B2 (en) 2001-03-30 2003-02-19 Bicycle control device
US10/654,357 US7267026B2 (en) 2001-03-30 2003-09-02 Bicycle control device

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US6647823B2 (en) 2003-11-18
DE60234065D1 (en) 2009-12-03
CN1911725A (en) 2007-02-14
US20020139637A1 (en) 2002-10-03
AT446241T (en) 2009-11-15

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