US20140221158A1 - Static Cycling Machine - Google Patents

Static Cycling Machine Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140221158A1
US20140221158A1 US14/245,056 US201414245056A US2014221158A1 US 20140221158 A1 US20140221158 A1 US 20140221158A1 US 201414245056 A US201414245056 A US 201414245056A US 2014221158 A1 US2014221158 A1 US 2014221158A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
assembly
post
crank
assemblies
data
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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
US14/245,056
Inventor
Peter Mabey
Stewart Williams
Original Assignee
Peter Mabey
Stewart Williams
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Filing date
Publication date
Priority to AU2008905016 priority Critical
Priority to AU2008905016A priority patent/AU2008905016A0/en
Priority to PCT/AU2009/001285 priority patent/WO2010034078A1/en
Priority to US201113120206A priority
Application filed by Peter Mabey, Stewart Williams filed Critical Peter Mabey
Priority to US14/245,056 priority patent/US20140221158A1/en
Publication of US20140221158A1 publication Critical patent/US20140221158A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B22/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements
    • A63B22/06Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements with support elements performing a rotating cycling movement, i.e. a closed path movement
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B22/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements
    • A63B22/0046Details of the support elements or their connection to the exercising apparatus, e.g. adjustment of size or orientation
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B21/00Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices
    • A63B21/008Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using hydraulic or pneumatic force-resisters
    • A63B21/0085Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using hydraulic or pneumatic force-resisters using pneumatic force-resisters
    • A63B21/0088Exercising apparatus for developing or strengthening the muscles or joints of the body by working against a counterforce, with or without measuring devices using hydraulic or pneumatic force-resisters using pneumatic force-resisters by moving the surrounding air
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B22/00Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements
    • A63B22/06Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements with support elements performing a rotating cycling movement, i.e. a closed path movement
    • A63B22/0605Exercising apparatus specially adapted for conditioning the cardio-vascular system, for training agility or co-ordination of movements with support elements performing a rotating cycling movement, i.e. a closed path movement performing a circular movement, e.g. ergometers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B24/00Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of preceding groups; Controlling or monitoring of exercises, sportive games, training or athletic performances
    • A63B24/0062Monitoring athletic performances, e.g. for determining the work of a user on an exercise apparatus, the completed jogging or cycling distance
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B24/00Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of preceding groups; Controlling or monitoring of exercises, sportive games, training or athletic performances
    • A63B24/0087Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of groups A63B21/00 - A63B23/00, e.g. controlling load
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B24/00Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of preceding groups; Controlling or monitoring of exercises, sportive games, training or athletic performances
    • A63B24/0062Monitoring athletic performances, e.g. for determining the work of a user on an exercise apparatus, the completed jogging or cycling distance
    • A63B2024/0068Comparison to target or threshold, previous performance or not real time comparison to other individuals
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2220/00Measuring of physical parameters relating to sporting activity
    • A63B2220/50Force related parameters
    • A63B2220/54Torque
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2225/00Other characteristics of sports equipment
    • A63B2225/09Adjustable dimensions
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2225/00Other characteristics of sports equipment
    • A63B2225/20Other characteristics of sports equipment with means for remote communication, e.g. internet or the like
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2225/00Other characteristics of sports equipment
    • A63B2225/50Wireless data transmission, e.g. by radio transmitters or telemetry

Abstract

A static cycling machine includes a base assembly. A front post support structure is arranged on the base assembly. A front post assembly is arranged on the front post support structure and is angled forward with respect to a support substrate, the front post assembly being adjustable in length and configured to permit a handlebar assembly to be mounted thereon. A rear post support structure is arranged on the base assembly. A rear post assembly is arranged on the rear post support structure and is angled rearward with respect to the support substrate, the rear post assembly being adjustable in length and configured to permit a seat assembly to be mounted thereon. Linear actuators are arranged on respective support structures and operatively engaged with respective post assemblies to adjust the lengths of the post assemblies. A control system controls operation of the linear actuators. A crank assembly is arranged on at least one of the base and support structures.

Description

    FIELD
  • This invention relates to a static cycling machine. More particularly, this invention relates to a static cycling machine, a control system for a static cycling machine and a method for operation of a static cycling machine.
  • SUMMARY
  • Various exemplary embodiments of a static cycling machine comprise
      • a base assembly;
      • a front post support structure arranged on the base assembly;
      • a front post assembly arranged on the front post support structure and angled forward with respect to a support substrate, the front post assembly being adjustable in length and configured to permit a handlebar assembly to be mounted thereon;
      • a rear post support structure arranged on the base assembly;
      • a rear post assembly arranged on the rear post support structure and angled rearward with respect to the support substrate, the rear post assembly being adjustable in length and configured to permit a seat assembly to be mounted thereon;
      • linear actuators arranged on respective support structures and operatively engaged with respective post assemblies to adjust the lengths of the post assemblies;
      • a control system for controlling operation of the linear actuators; and
      • a crank assembly that is arranged on at least one of the base and support structures.
  • The crank assembly may arranged on one of the support structures such that the post assemblies, support structures and the crank assembly define a frame that can simulate a conventional bicycle frame with adjustment of the front and rear post assemblies resulting in adjustment of a frame size of the simulated bicycle frame.
  • At least one of the support structures may be linearly displaceable with respect to the base assembly so that a distance between the post assemblies can be adjusted, the machine including an actuator operatively arranged with respect to the support structures and operable to adjust the distance between the support structures, the actuator being configured for control with the control system.
  • Each linear actuator may include a lead screw that is in threaded engagement with a sleeve, a drive motor being mounted on an associated support structure and operatively engaged with the lead screw such that the drive motor can be used to rotate the lead screw to drive the sleeve linearly, a mount being arranged on a free end of the sleeve so that the seat assembly or the handlebar assembly can be mounted on the sleeve.
  • The crank assembly may include an axle assembly that is configured so that a crank arm can be mounted on each of two respective input ends of the axle assembly, the axle assembly being configured so that torque applied via one crank arm is isolated from the other crank arm and vice versa.
  • The axle assembly may include a pair of opposed lower bracket assemblies and an axle extending between and engaged at each end with a respective lower bracket assembly, the bracket assemblies each being configured to transmit torque to the axle only when the associated crank arm is rotationally driven with respect to the axle, thereby isolating the axle from the effects of a non-driving crank arm.
  • The control system may be configured to receive power measurement signals from crank arms, thereby allowing association between maximum power output from respective legs and said positional data.
  • The control system may include a controller for communicating with the actuators and a control interface for displaying at least positional data to a user.
  • The machine may include a wireless communications module to permit the controller to communicate with a wireless device such that at least one of the positional data and the performance data can be received from, or communicated to, a networked data processing apparatus.
      • Various exemplary embodiments of a method for using the static cycling machine described above comprise the steps of:
      • recording a user's details;
      • measuring power applied at the crank assembly;
      • operating the actuators until a maximum power applied at the crank assembly is achieved;
      • recording positional conditions of the actuators corresponding to said maximum power; and
      • storing the user's details together with the positional conditions in a database.
  • The method may include the step of writing data relating to the user's details and the positional conditions of the actuators to a data storage medium.
  • The method may include the step of reading said data relating to the user's details and the positional conditions of the actuators and adjusting the post assemblies in accordance with said data.
  • Various exemplary embodiments of a static cycling machine comprise
      • a support assembly;
      • a drive assembly;
      • a frame assembly mounted on the support assembly, the frame assembly comprising:
        • a seat tube assembly extending from the drive assembly, the seat tube assembly being adjustable in length;
        • a down tube assembly extending from the drive assembly, the down tube assembly being adjustable in length;
        • a handlebar assembly mounted on the down tube assembly; and
        • a fork assembly connected to the handlebar assembly and being adjustable in length, the seat tube, down tube, handlebar and fork assemblies being connected to each other such that at least the dimensions of the frame assembly can be adjusted by adjusting the lengths of the tube assemblies; and
      • a driven wheel assembly operatively connected to the drive assembly so that work applied to the drive assembly can be transmitted to the wheel assembly; and
      • actuators operatively engaged with the frame assembly to adjust dimensions of the frame assembly.
  • A top tube assembly may be connected between the seat tube assembly and the handlebar assembly and is adjustable in length. A seat assembly may be mounted on the seat tube assembly.
  • An actuator may be engaged with the seat tube assembly and an actuator may be engaged with the down tube assembly.
  • The fork assembly may include left and right fork assemblies and actuators may be engaged with respective fork assemblies.
  • The seat assembly may include a seat post assembly that is adjustable with respect to the seat tube assembly. An actuator may be engaged with and interposed between the seat post and seat tube assemblies.
  • The handlebar assembly may be pivotally mounted with respect to the top tube assembly, the down tube assembly and the fork assembly to permit the handlebar assembly to pivot in response to adjustment of the frame assembly.
  • An actuator may be engaged with the down tube assembly and the handlebar assembly to pivot the handlebar assembly.
  • The drive assembly may include a pair of independently operable crank and drive sprocket assemblies.
  • The drive assembly may include an intermediate sprocket and hub assembly that includes a pair of minor sprockets to take power from each of the crank and drive sprocket assemblies and a major sprocket rotationally fixed with respect to the minor sprockets.
  • The driven wheel assembly may include a driven sprocket to take power from the major sprocket and a continuously variable transmission connected to the driven sprocket. Alternatively, the driven wheel assembly may include a driven sprocket set to take power from the major sprocket.
  • The driven wheel assembly may include a resistance wheel connected to the driven sprocket via the transmission. The resistance wheel may have vanes to provide air resistance as the wheel is rotated, each vane having peripheral edges that are directed away from a direction of movement of the vanes.
  • A fan cover assembly may cover the driven wheel assembly. The fan cover assembly may define a vent to direct a flow of air generated by the driven wheel assembly on to a user to cool the user.
  • Various exemplary embodiments of a control system for the static cycling machine comprise:
      • a controller operatively connected to each of the actuators to control operation of the actuators and thus the extent of adjustment of the frame assembly; and
      • a data storage medium operatively connected to the controller to store data related to the extent of adjustment of each actuator.
  • The control system may include a wireless communications module to permit the controller to communicate data to a wireless device.
  • The control system may include a wireless terminal configured to read data from the controller and to generate a suitable interface to permit an operator to adjust the frame assembly.
  • The controller may be configured to read user data from the actuators corresponding to an extent of adjustment of the frame assembly and to store said user data in the data storage medium.
  • The control system may include a wireless computational device that is configured to receive said user data from the controller and to generate output data based on the user data.
  • The computational device may be configured to generate a database relating users with data representing frame assembly dimensions. Furthermore, the computational device is configured to write user data for respective users to a data storage medium for use by said respective users.
  • The control system may include a reader for reading said data storage medium, the controller being configured to control operation of the actuators in response to data read from the storage medium such that the frame assembly is adjusted into a condition related to the user associated with the data storage medium.
  • Various exemplary embodiments of a method for using the static cycling machine comprise the steps of:
      • recording a user's details;
      • reading power applied at the drive assembly;
      • adjusting the frame assembly with the actuators until a maximum power applied at the drive assembly is achieved;
      • recording positional conditions of the actuators corresponding to said maximum power; and
      • storing the user's details together with the positional conditions in a database.
  • The method may include the steps of writing data relating to the user's details and the positional conditions of the actuators to a data storage medium.
  • The method may include the steps of reading said data relating to the user's details and the positional conditions of the actuators and adjusting the frame assembly in accordance with said data.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a right hand side view of an exemplary embodiment of a static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 2 shows a left hand side view of the static cycling machine of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 shows a right hand side view of the static cycling machine with a cowling assembly removed to display internal mechanisms.
  • FIG. 4 shows a left hand side view of the static cycling machine with a cowling assembly removed.
  • FIG. 5 shows an exploded view of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 6 shows a right hand side view of an embodiment of the static cycling machine, with the cowling assembly removed, incorporating sprocket gears on the driven wheel assembly.
  • FIG. 7 shows a left hand side view of the embodiment of FIG. 6.
  • FIG. 8 shows an exploded view of a drive frame assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 9 shows an exploded view of a handlebar assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 10 shows an exploded view of a left lower fork assembly of a support assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 11 shows an exploded view of a right lower fork assembly of a support assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 12 shows an exploded view of one of a pair of upper front fork assemblies of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 13 shows an exploded view of a left fork actuator assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 14 shows an exploded view of a right fork actuator assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 15 shows an exploded view of an outer part of a down tube assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 16 shows an exploded view of an inner part of the down tube assembly.
  • FIG. 17 shows an exploded view of a top tube assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 18 shows an exploded view of a seat post assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 19 shows an exploded view of a seat tube assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 20 shows a plan view of a base assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 21 shows a three-dimensional view of the base assembly.
  • FIG. 22 shows a side view of a crank assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 23 shows a three-dimensional view of the crank assembly.
  • FIG. 24 shows a top plan view of the crank assembly.
  • FIG. 25 shows an exploded view of the crank assembly.
  • FIG. 26 shows an exploded view of an intermediate hub assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 27 shows an exploded view of a driven wheel assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 28 shows an exploded view of a cowling assembly of the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 29 shows a control system for the static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 30 shows a flow chart representing a method of using the cycling machine.
  • FIG. 31 shows a database generated by the method of FIG. 30.
  • FIG. 32 shows a plan view of an exemplary embodiment of a static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 33 shows a side view of the static cycling machine of FIG. 32.
  • FIG. 34 shows a partially exploded view of the static cycling machine of FIG. 32.
  • FIG. 35 shows a handlebar assembly of the static cycling machine of FIG. 32.
  • FIG. 36 shows a partially sectioned side view of the static cycling machine of FIG. 32.
  • FIG. 37 shows a further partially sectioned side view of the static cycling machine of FIG. 32.
  • FIG. 38 shows a drive mechanism for a forward post assembly of the static cycling machine of FIG. 32.
  • FIG. 39 shows a drive mechanism for a rear post assembly of the static cycling machine of FIG. 32.
  • FIG. 40 shows a drive mechanism for a base assembly of the static cycling machine of FIG. 32.
  • FIG. 41 shows an exploded view of an exemplary embodiment of a handlebar assembly.
  • FIG. 42 shows a side view of an exemplary embodiment of a crank assembly.
  • FIG. 43 shows a plan sectioned view of the crank assembly of FIG. 42.
  • FIG. 44 shows a three-dimensional, cut-away view of the drive assembly.
  • FIG. 45 shows a three-dimensional view of an exemplary embodiment of a post assembly for a static cycling machine.
  • FIG. 46 shows a sectioned view of the post assembly of FIG. 46.
  • FIG. 47 shows a schematic control diagram illustrating an exemplary embodiment of a manner of using the static cycling machine of FIG. 32.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • In FIGS. 1 and 2, reference numeral 10 generally indicates one embodiment of a static cycling machine, in accordance with the invention.
  • The cycling machine 10 includes a support assembly 12. A frame assembly 14 is mounted on the support assembly 12. A crank or drive assembly 16 is mounted on the frame assembly 14. A driven wheel assembly 18 is mounted on the frame assembly 14. The wheel assembly 18 is operatively connected to the drive assembly 16 so that effort exerted at the drive assembly 16 is transmitted to the driven wheel assembly 18.
  • The frame assembly 14 includes a seat or rear post assembly or seat tube assembly 20. The seat tube assembly 20 is adjustable in length and a seat assembly 22 is mounted on one end of the seat tube assembly 20. An opposite end of the seat tube assembly 20 is fast with the drive assembly 16.
  • A front post or down tube assembly 24 extends angularly with respect to the seat tube assembly in a manner conventional to bicycles. The down tube assembly 24 is adjustable in length. A handlebar assembly 26 is mounted on one end of the down tube assembly 24 and an opposite end of the down tube assembly 24 is fast with the drive assembly 16.
  • A top tube assembly 28 is connected between the seat tube assembly 20 and the handlebar assembly 26 such that the seat tube assembly 20, the down tube assembly 24 and the top tube assembly 28 are positioned in a manner similar to that of a conventional bicycle. The top tube assembly 28 is also adjustable in length. The assemblies 20, 24, 26 and 28 are connected to each other in a pivotal manner so that at least the dimensions of the frame assembly 14 can be adjusted by adjusting the lengths of the assemblies 20, 24, 26 and 28.
  • A front fork assembly 30 is connected between the support assembly 12 and the handlebar assembly 26, the front fork assembly 30 being adjustable in length. In particular, the front fork assembly 30 includes a left fork assembly 34 and a right fork assembly 36, each of which are adjustable in length.
  • Actuators engage the frame assembly 14 and are operable to adjust dimensions of the frame assembly 14.
  • The support assembly 12 includes a base assembly 38. An example of the base assembly 38 is shown in detail in FIGS. 20 and 21. The base assembly 38 includes a base plate 40. A pair of wheels or castors 42 is mounted on the base plate 40. Thus, movement of the cycling machine 10 is facilitated. Brackets 44 are fast with the plate 40 to permit the plate 40 to be secured in position.
  • The drive assembly 16 includes a drive frame assembly 46. An example of the drive frame assembly 46 is shown in detail in FIGS. 5 and 8. The assembly 46 includes a crank hub case 48. A rear brace 50 has one end fast with the base plate 40 with a suitable foot plate 52 and an opposite end fast with the case 48. A front brace 54 has one end fast with the base plate 40 with a suitable foot plate 56 and an opposite end fast with the case 48. A tubular seat pole 58 of the seat tube assembly is fast with and extends operatively upwardly from the case 48.
  • A rear vertical support 60 is fast with and interposed between the seat pole 58 and the foot plate 52.
  • Control and sensing circuitry is arranged in a housing 61 mounted on the rear and front braces 50, 54 with suitable brackets 62.
  • The drive assembly 16 includes a crank assembly 64 fitted to crank case 48. Detail of the crank assembly 64 is shown in FIGS. 22 to 25. The crank assembly 64 includes a pair of power crank and sprocket assemblies 66.1, 66.2 mounted on the left and right hand sides of the drive frame assembly 46, respectively. The assemblies 66.1 and 66.2 include power cranks 68.1 and 68.2, respectively. The power cranks 68.1 and 68.2 are connected to left and right drive sprockets 70.1 and 70.2 respectively, via clutch mechanisms 71.1 and 71.2 interposed between the cranks 68.1 and 68.2, respectively and adapters 72.1 and 72.2, respectively. The drive sprockets 70.1 and 70.2 are connected to the crank case 48 with roller bearings 73.1 and 73.2, respectively. The functionality of such an arrangement is described with reference to the machine 400 and is applicable to this embodiment.
  • Thus, the assemblies 66 are configured to operate independently of each other. As a result, a user is encouraged to apply positive effort to each power crank continuously to maintain a conventional pedaling action. This is also the case with the machine 400. Sensor mounts 74.1, 74.2 are interposed between the adaptors 72.1, 72.2 and cogs 70.1 and 70.2, respectively. Sensors, not shown here, are arranged on the mounts 74 to generate signals corresponding to the effort applied to the respective cranks 68.1 and 68.2.
  • Such an arrangement is particularly suited for training cyclists and other athletes. It is envisaged that the invention covers embodiments in which the crank assembly 64 is a single mechanism in which the power cranks are connected to each other for a more conventional training application.
  • Applicant has found that suitable components of the crank assembly 64 are those supplied by Quarq Technology Inc., for power measurement and those known as “PowerCranks” for the assemblies 66.
  • Other components which constitute the crank assembly, but which are not specifically described can readily be ascertained from FIG. 25.
  • The drive assembly 16 further includes an intermediate sprocket and hub assembly 76 mounted on the front brace 54. Detail of the assembly 76 is shown in FIG. 26. The assembly 76 includes a mounting bracket 78. A shaft housing 81 is fast with the bracket 78. A left roller bearing 80.1 and a right roller bearing 80.2 are fitted into the housing 81. A drive member in the form of a left minor sprocket 88 is fast with the left roller bearing 80.1.
  • An adaptor 82 is fast with the right roller bearing 80.2. Drive members in the form of a major sprocket 84 and a right minor sprocket 90 are both fast with the adaptor 82.
  • A flexible drive member in the form of a left primary drive chain interconnects the left drive sprocket 70.1 and the left minor sprocket 88. A further flexible drive member in the form of a right primary drive chain interconnects the right drive sprocket 70.2 and the right minor sprocket 90. Therefore, operation of either of the assemblies 66.1 or 66.2 results in rotation of the major sprocket 84, allowing specific training or technique assessment.
  • The support assembly 12 includes a left lower fork assembly 92 and a right lower fork assembly 94. Positioning of these assemblies 92, 94 is shown in detail in FIG. 5. Detail of the left lower fork assembly 92 is shown in FIG. 10, while detail of the right lower fork assembly 94 is shown in FIG. 11. The driven wheel assembly 18 is supported above the base assembly 38 by the fork assemblies 92, 94.
  • The left lower fork assembly 92 includes a foot plate 96 fast with the base plate 40. A tubular fork 98 is fast with the foot plate 96. A bracket 100 is mounted on an upper end of the fork 98 for mounting the left fork assembly 34. A braking mechanism in the form of a disk brake caliper 101 is mounted on the fork 98 with a bracket 102. A resistance wheel axle mount 104 is fast with the fork 98.
  • The right lower fork assembly 94 includes a foot plate 106 fast with the base plate 40. A tubular fork 108 is fast with the foot plate 96. A bracket 110 is mounted on an upper end of the fork 108 for mounting the right fork assembly 36. A resistance wheel axle mount 112 is fast with the fork 108.
  • The driven wheel assembly 18 includes a resistance wheel 114. In this particular embodiment, the resistance wheel 114 is in the form of a fan wheel. The wheel 114 includes a vane fastening arrangement in the form of a pair of spaced, vane fastening ring assemblies 116. A plurality of vanes 118 are fastened between the rings 116 to generate suitable wind resistance when the wheel 114 is rotated. Each ring assembly includes an outer ring 120 and an inner ring 122, the vanes 118 extending outwardly in a radial fashion from the inner ring 122 to the outer ring 120.
  • Each vane 118 is generally rectangular with major peripheral edges 124 directed away from a direction of movement of the vanes 118. Applicant has found that this configuration results in a significant reduction in noise levels and an increase in wind resistance when compared with flat vanes and those used on conventional exercise equipment.
  • A fan drive ring 132 is fast with a right inner ring 122.2 with a suitable fastening arrangement. In this embodiment, the fastening arrangement is in the form of ring halves 128 that interconnect the drive ring 132 and the right inner ring 122.2.
  • A hub 126 is fast with the fan drive ring 132 so that rotation of the hub 126 is conveyed to the resistance wheel 114.
  • A drive member in the form of a driven sprocket 134 is arranged on the hub 126. A flexible drive element in the form of a drive chain interconnects the sprocket 84 and the sprocket 134. It will thus be appreciated that rotation of either of the power cranks 68, independently of the other, results in rotation of the resistance wheel.
  • A continuously variable transmission mechanism 138 is fast with the hub to provide a continuously variable gearing effect. An example of a suitable mechanism is that supplied under the brand NuVinci®.
  • As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, an alternative embodiment of the static cycling machine includes a cog set 140 of a number of differently dimensioned sprockets instead of the mechanism 138. With reference to the preceding Figures, like reference numerals refer to like parts unless otherwise specified.
  • FIGS. 6 and 7 also show an alternative resistance wheel 123. The wheel 123 includes a circular mounting plate 125 mounted on the cog set 140. A plurality of vanes 127 are fast with the plate 125 and extend from the plate 125 in a radial manner. Each vane 125 has one peripheral major edge that faces a direction of movement and an opposed major peripheral edge facing away from the direction of movement.
  • Reverting to the other Figures, a brake in the form of a disk brake 130 is mounted on a left inner ring 122.1 to be engaged by the caliper 101.
  • The front fork assembly 30 includes left and right upper front fork assemblies 142, one of which is shown in FIG. 12. Each assembly 142 includes a fork adjustment member 144 and a fork connecting bracket 146 for connecting the fork assemblies 142 to the handlebar assembly 26.
  • The front fork assembly 30 includes a left fork actuating member 148 (FIG. 13) and a right fork actuating member 150 (FIG. 14).
  • A left fork adjustment member 144.1 is telescopically mounted on the left fork actuating member 148 through a guide and dampener assembly 149 mounted on the left fork actuating member 148 configured to dampen relative movement between the member 148 and the member 144.1. A bottom joint 152 connects to the bracket 100. A left fork actuator 154 is engaged with the members 144.1 and 148 to adjust an overall length of the left upper front fork assembly.
  • A right fork adjustment member 144.2 is telescopically mounted on the right fork actuating member 150 through a guide and dampener assembly 151 configured to dampen relative movement between the member 150 and the member 144.2. A bottom joint 156 connects to the bracket 110. A right fork actuator 158 is engaged with the members 144.2 and 150 to adjust an overall length of the left upper front fork assembly.
  • The down tube assembly 24 is shown in detail in FIGS. 15 and 16. The down tube assembly 24 has an inner down tube 160 (FIG. 16). The inner down tube 160 has a joint 162 that is fast with the crank hub case 48.
  • The down tube assembly 24 has an outer down tube 164 (FIG. 15). The outer down tube 164 has a bottom tube guide 166 at one end through which the inner down tube 160 is received to be telescopically mounted to the outer down tube 164. The bottom tube guide 166 incorporates a dampening arrangement 165 that includes a dampening pad and pressure plate to dampen relative movement between the inner and outer down tubes.
  • A pivotal connecting arrangement in the form of a top yoke 168 is mounted at an opposite end of the tube 164 to connect the outer down tube to the handlebar assembly 26. An actuator mounting bracket 170 is fast with the outer down tube 164.
  • An actuator 172 interconnects the inner down tube 160 and the bracket 170 so that an overall length of the down tube assembly 24 can be adjusted on operation of the actuator 172.
  • The seat tube assembly 20 (FIG. 19) includes a seat tube 174 that is telescopically mounted on the seat pole 58. A top guide joint 176 is mounted on an operatively upper end of the seat tube 174. A dampening arrangement 175 is arranged in the joint 176 to dampen relative movement of the seat tube 174 and the seat post 184. A seat tube actuator bracket 178 is fast with the seat tube 174.
  • An actuator 180 interconnects the top guide joint 176 and the seat pole 58 so that an overall length of the seat tube assembly 20 can be adjusted on operation of the actuator 180. A demarcated size indication plate 181 is fast with the seat tube 174 and co-operates with the seat pole 58 to provide a visual indication of the overall length of the seat tube assembly 20.
  • The seat assembly 22 includes a seat post assembly 182 (FIG. 18). The post assembly 182 includes a seat post 184, a lower end of which is received through the top guide joint 176 of the seat tube assembly 20 so that the post 184 is telescopically mounted on the seat pole 58.
  • A seat adjustment base plate 186 is mounted on an operatively upper end of the post 184. The base plate 186 defines a channel 188. A seat mounting block 190 is received in the channel 188 to be operatively horizontally displaceable relative to the base plate 186. A slide rod 192 is positioned in the channel 188. The seat mounting block 190 has a pair of guide formations 194, each defining a guide passage 196. The slide rod 192 is received through the guide passages 196 so that the seat mounting block 190 can slide relative to the base plate 186. The base plate 186 defines a pair of opposed elongate slots 198. A pair of fasteners 200 is received through the slots 198 and through openings 201 in the block 190 to secure the block 190 in a selected position.
  • A seat clamping assembly 202 is arranged on the block 190 to fasten a seat 204 to the block 190. The seat clamping assembly 202 is configured so that the seat 204 can be pivoted into a desired orientation.
  • An actuator 206 interconnects the base plate 186 and the actuator mounting bracket 170 so that the seat post 184 can be adjusted relative to the seat tube 174.
  • The top tube assembly 28 is shown in detail in FIG. 17. The assembly 28 includes an outer top tube 208. A pivotal connector in the form of a front yoke 210 is mounted on a front end of the tube 208. An inner top tube 212 is received in the outer top tube 208 in a telescopic fashion. The inner top tube is received through a guide and dampener assembly 214. The guide and dampener assembly 214 includes a guide member 216 which is fast with the outer top tube 208. The guide member 216 defines a dampener formation 218 in which a dampener washer insert is received. A dampener pad 220 is fast with the inner top tube 212 to engage the washer insert when the top tube assembly 28 is in a retracted condition.
  • A size indicator in the form of a demarcated size indication plate 224 is mounted on each side of the inner top tube 212. The plate 224 co-operates with the outer top tube 208 to provide a visual indication of the overall length of the top tube assembly 28.
  • A pivotal connector in the form of a yoke, such as a clevis yoke 226 is mounted on a rear end of the inner top tube 212 so that the inner top tube can be connected to a complementary connecting formation in the form of a yoke 227 on the seat tube 174.
  • The handlebar assembly 26 is shown in detail in FIG. 9. The handlebar assembly includes a head portion that includes a head joint 228. The head joint 228 defines a channel 230. A head stem 232 is received in the channel 230. A sliding guide arrangement in the form of a slide rod 234 is positioned in the channel 230. The head stem 232 defines a passage 236, the slide rod 234 being received through the passage 236 so that the head stem 232 can slide relative to the head joint 228. A locking arrangement includes a pair of opposed slots 238 defined in the head stem 232 and opening into the channel 230. A pair of fasteners is received through the slots 238 and through complementary openings 240 defined in the head stem 232. Thus, the head stem 232 can be locked in position relative to the head joint 228. A handlebar stem 242 is clamped to a spigot 244 of the head stem 232 and handlebars 246 are fast with the handlebar stem 242.
  • The head joint 228 defines a transverse mounting formation 246. A left fork connecting bracket 146.1 is pivotally connected to a left side of the mounting formation 246 and a right fork connecting bracket 146.2 is pivotally connected to a right side of the mounting formation 246. It follows that actuation of the left and right fork actuators 148, 150 adjusts a height of the handlebars 248.
  • The head joint 228 defines an opening 250 so that the top yoke 168 of the outer down tube 164 is pivotally connected to the head joint 228 allowing pivotal movement of the head joint 228 with respect to the down tube assembly 24.
  • The head joint 228 defines a lug 252. The lug 252 defines an opening 254 so that an actuator 256 pivotally interconnects the head joint 228 and the actuator mounting bracket 170.
  • The head joint 228 defines a further opening 258 so that the front yoke 210 of the outer top tube 208 is pivotally connected with the head joint 228.
  • The static cycling machine 10 includes a cover assembly in the form of a cowling assembly 260, shown in detail in FIG. 28. The cowling assembly 260 includes a pair of side covers 262 that cover the various working components of the machine 10, both for safety and aesthetics.
  • The cowling assembly 260 also includes a fan cover 264 that covers the driven wheel assembly 18. The fan cover 264 defines a vent 266 that is configured so that air flow generated by the vanes 118 is directed on to a user to cool the user.
  • Each of the actuators is a linear actuator incorporating a stepper motor. The actuators are infinitely adjustable between predetermined ranges.
  • The static cycling machine 10 includes a control system, an example of which is indicated at 270 in FIG. 29. The actuators described above are numbered accordingly in FIG. 29 for the sake of convenience and clarity. The control system 270 includes a controller 272 that is operatively connected to each of the actuators to control operation of the actuators. The actuators incorporate stepper motors with feedback generation so that a positional condition of each actuator can be signaled to the controller 272 and stored either dynamically or statically in a database 274.
  • It will be appreciated that adjusting a length of one of the assemblies will result in a corresponding adjustment in length of at least one other assembly. The controller 272 is programmed so that an adjustment in length of any one of the assemblies is carried out in a compound fashion by incrementally altering the lengths of the other assemblies. For example, where it is desired to extend a height of the handlebar assembly 26 relative to the seat assembly 22, the actuators 154, 158 and 172 co-operate to achieve the height adjustment. It follows that said adjustment can occur incrementally and sequentially in each of the actuators 154, 158 and 172. Furthermore, the actuator 256 can be operated to adjust a tilt of the handlebar assembly 26 to suit the cyclist. During that adjustment process, the top tube assembly 28 is capable of pivoting to accommodate relative movement of the assemblies due to the manner in which it is mounted to the handlebar assembly 26 and the seat tube assembly 20. Also, the top tube assembly 28 is capable of extension or retraction to accommodate that relative movement. It will readily be appreciated that a similar process is followed when a height of the seat assembly 22 is adjusted relative to the handlebar assembly 26.
  • The actuators include potentiometers, the resistance value associated with the potentiometers varying according to an extent of adjustment of the actuators. The controller 272 reads the variation in resistance to obtain a value associated with an extent of adjustment of the actuators.
  • The actuators have internal limit switches, generally indicated at 276 to limit the extent of adjustment of the actuators. In addition, the controller 272 is programmed to cut power to a particular actuator, if the extent of adjustment of that actuator exceeds a predetermined value.
  • The controller 272 is located in the control circuitry housing 61 described earlier. The control circuitry includes a wireless communications module 278 to permit the controller 272 to communicate wirelessly with various devices.
  • Such devices can include a handheld wireless device 280 in the form of an application-specific handheld terminal or a personal digital assistant (PDA). The device 280 is configured to receive data from the controller 272 representing the positional condition of each of the actuators. Alternatively, the controller 272 can be configured to generate data representing the lengths of the various adjustable assemblies, calculated from the positional conditions of the associated actuators. That data can then be communicated to the terminal 280, so that an operator can readily assess the condition of the machine 10.
  • The device 280 can be configured to generate an interface for use by an operator to permit the operator to control the actuators in a number of different ways. In one embodiment, the device can be configured to actuate each of the actuators individually. In another embodiment, the device can be configured to generate an interface that allows the operator to select a particular position of one of the assemblies. In that embodiment, when the operator selects the particular position, the controller is configured to sequentially and incrementally adjust the associated actuators until a positional condition of the associated actuators corresponding to the desired position of the target assembly is reached.
  • In this regard, it will be appreciated that relative positions of the seat 204 and handlebar 248 correspond in a predictable manner with positional conditions of the various actuators. It follows that the controller 272 can be programmed with a suitable algorithm relating the relative position of the seat 204 and handlebar 248 to positional conditions of the various actuators. Furthermore, one of the actuators 256 is capable of adjusting an angular position of the handlebars 248 to accommodate adjustment of relative linear positions of the handlebars 248 and the seat 204.
  • The actuators are configured to provide infinite adjustment within a particular range. It follows that overall dimensions of the frame assembly 14 are infinitely adjustable over a particular range. As a result the frame assembly 14 can simulate any bicycle frame geometry across a particular range. It follows that the machine 10 is suited for assessing cyclists or athletes for frame customization.
  • The machine 10 facilitates customization because the actuators are operable while the cyclist operates the machine. In one application, therefore, the cyclist pedals while a trainer or fitter obtains verbal feedback as to which settings are most comfortable. Those settings are recorded manually using the various size indication plates. Instead, the controller 272 can record the positional conditions of the actuators corresponding to the most comfortable settings in the database 274 for later recall.
  • The sensor mounts 74.1 and 74.2 can carry sensors 282.1 and 282.2 respectively. Each of the sensors 282 communicates data relating to power applied to the respective power cranks 68.1 and 68.2 via interfaces 284.1 and 284.2.
  • The control system 270 includes a computational device such as a laptop computer 286 or a PC that is configured to communicate with the controller 272 via the communications module 278. The device 286 can include one or more databases for storing data relating to the use of the machine 10. For example, the device 286 can store cyclist identification data, and, related to each cyclist, data related to the fork assembly length, down tube assembly length, top tube assembly length, seat tube assembly length, and seat post assembly length.
  • One example of a method of collecting that data is set out in the flowchart shown in FIG. 30. A cyclist to be assessed is seated on the machine. Details of the cyclist are recorded. At 290, the actuators are adjusted so that the frame assembly and fork assembly are adjusted into a condition estimated to be suitable for the cyclist. At 292 the actuator positions are recorded. Pedaling is initiated at 294. Power applied to the left and right hand power cranks is read at 296. The cyclist provides verbal feedback and the actuators are adjusted accordingly at 298. Power applied to the left and right hand cranks is read again at 300. The power applied at 300 is compared to the power applied at 296 at 302. If there has been an improvement the actuators can be adjusted again at 298 and steps 300 and 302 repeated. If there has not been an improvement, the operator makes an intuitive adjustment and reads the power again. At 304 a query is made as to whether or not the power has improved. If yes, the actuator settings can be recorded.
  • It will be appreciated that the method shown in FIG. 30 can be automated to a large degree to generate optimized data related to the various lengths and associated with the particular cyclist.
  • It will also be appreciated that the method can be used to generate a relational database. An example of a simple relational database in accordance with the invention is shown in FIG. 31. As can be seen, the relational database associates respective cyclist data components 314 with data components 316 related to optimized fork assembly length, down tube assembly length, top tube assembly length, seat tube assembly length, and seat post assembly length. Each of the optimized lengths is associated with respective sets of data components 318 representing positional conditions of the actuators.
  • Once the relational database has been generated, it can be used to write data relating to respective cyclists to data storage media personalized for the respective cyclists. That data would include identification data representing the cyclist and at least data related to fork assembly length, down tube assembly length, top tube assembly length, seat tube assembly length, and seat post assembly length optimized for the card holder. Other data may include extent of handlebar tilt and any other conditional data related to the machine 10 which can be effected by the positional conditions of the actuators. For example, the data can be written to a card with a data carrier.
  • The machine 10 may include a data reader 310 for reading the data from the data storage media. A reader interface 312 writes the data to the controller 272. Where the data storage media is a card, the data reader 310 is a card reader.
  • The controller 272 is configured to process the data from the data storage media and to generate control signals so that the actuators assume conditions that result in the various assemblies assuming lengths optimized for the particular cyclist.
  • In one application, the static cycling machine 10 is used to select a suitable frame for a cyclist. Once the cyclist has the data storage medium, it can be presented at any bicycle dealer so that optimized frame dimensions can be extracted.
  • In one example, the controller 272 can be connected to an actuator 320 for applying the disk brake 130. The controller 272 can be programmed with a set of instructions so that the disk brake 130 is applied to increase or decrease resistance to cycling experience by the cyclist. The set of instructions can be configured so that the cyclist experiences a simulation of a particular route. Furthermore, the set of instructions can be written to the controller by the computational device 286. The computational device 286 can be configured to generate an image for the cyclist that represents the particular route. To facilitate this and in order to enhance the functionality of the machine 10, the machine 10 can include an electronic odometer that generates a signal representing an equivalent distance covered by the cyclist. Thus, the computational device can be configured so that various characteristics of a selected route can be accurately simulated.
  • Competitive cyclists generally train with bicycles that are particularly suited to their specific requirements. Such bicycles are either carefully adjusted or have been custom made for the cyclist. As a result, competitive cyclists are hesitant to train on conventional static cycling machines out of a fear of injury. Such machines can generally only be adjusted in a rudimentary manner. Experienced cyclists who decide to change a riding position such as seat height do so gradually often over many months. Typical static cycling machines have 25 mm adjustments in seat height, for example. Such a change could easily result in injury. Furthermore, it is often just too time-consuming and frustrating to attempt to adjust such machines before training. With the present invention, a cyclist can swipe the card and begin cycling as soon as the machine has adjusted itself into a condition optimized for the cyclist.
  • Competitive cyclists are often required to travel around the world to attend various competitions. As a result they often find themselves in hotels with gymnasiums. However, these gymnasiums are generally fitted with conventional cycling machines and cyclists are hesitant to use such machines. The machine 10 provides a means whereby competitive cyclists can train in conditions that closely simulate their competitive bicycles. It is not only competitive cyclists who find themselves in such a position. Cycling has become a very popular pastime among businessmen, professionals and others who attend gymnasiums when away from home. The machine 10 provides a training apparatus that can closely simulate their bicycles so that training regimes can be maintained.
  • At present, especially equipped training centres are used to fit competitive cyclists to cycle frames and to carry out the associated testing. Such fitting and testing can be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. It will readily be appreciated that the machine 10 provides a means whereby such expense and time is saved. Because the frame assembly has components common to those of conventional and even a large number of specialized bicycles, it is possible to use the data generated by the controller 272 for fitting such bicycles to cyclists. Such bicycles could include competitive road bicycles, off-road bicycle, such as BMX bicycles and downhill racers and track bicycles.
  • Static cycling machines are a popular method of exercise for athletes at all levels, whether cyclists or not. An example of their popularity is their growing use in what is called “spinning”. That activity usually involves a number of users each positioned on a cycling machine being directed by an instructor on a similar cycling machine. Generally, spinning machines only have very rudimentary adjustment mechanisms. These can be both difficult and tedious to adjust, particularly considering that many different users could use a particular machine in just one day. As a result, the users often don't bother to adjust the machines properly. Even when they do make adjustments, those adjustments are usually just an estimation of the proper settings. The machine 10 can be used to address this problem. For example, in one application, the machine 10 could be used as a spinning machine. In that application, the embodiment of the drive assembly described above could be replaced with a more conventional drive assembly. It will be appreciated that the wireless capability of the machine 10 and the controller 272 would allow each gym member to have both the machine 10 and a route or routine specifically customized for that member. Furthermore, the data storage medium, for example a swipe card, could be used to facilitate alteration of the frame dimensions and even the routine to accommodate a new member.
  • It will be appreciated that the frame assembly 14 is analogous to that of a conventional bicycle. As a result, a cycling experience can be achieved that is similar to that of a conventional bicycle. This is enhanced by the pivotal adjustability of the handlebar assembly.
  • It is to be appreciated that the functionality of the machine 10, described above, can also be achieved with the machine 400 described below.
  • In FIGS. 32 to 47, reference numeral 400 generally indicates an exemplary embodiment of a static cycling machine. With reference to the preceding drawings, like reference numerals refer to like parts, unless otherwise specified. Common use of reference numerals is not to be considered as limiting the scope of the appended claims and is intended solely for convenience. Furthermore, it will be apparent to a person of ordinary skill in the field that the static cycling machine 400 can be used in the same way as the machine 10. It follows that the manner of use described with reference to the machine 10 is applicable to the machine 400. Still further, it is to be appreciated that, where possible and practical, components of the machine 10 are interchangeable with components of the machine 400. It follows that a static cycling machine could incorporate components of the machine 10 and the machine 400. However, for the sake of convenience and practicality the machines 10 and 400 are described separately.
  • The machine 400 includes a base assembly 402.
  • A front tube or post assembly 404 extends from the base assembly 402. The post assembly 402 is angled forwardly with respect to the base assembly 402 generally to simulate an orientation of a front tube or post of a bicycle.
  • A rear tube or post assembly 406 extends from the base assembly. The post assembly 406 is angled backwardly with respect to the base assembly 402 generally to simulate an orientation of a rear or seat tube or post of a bicycle.
  • A crank assembly 408 is interposed between the front post assembly 404 and the base assembly 402.
  • A handlebar assembly 410 is mounted on the front post assembly 404. A seat assembly 412 is mounted on the rear post assembly 406.
  • The base assembly 402 includes a generally I-shaped support structure 414. The structure 414 includes a central bar 416, a front cross bar 418 and a rear cross bar 420.
  • A rail 421 is arranged on the central bar 416 (FIG. 40). The rear post assembly 406 is mounted on the rail 421 in a displaceable manner so that a distance between the front and rear post assemblies 404, 406 can be adjusted. The rear post assembly 406 includes a support structure 422. Carriers or linear bearings 424 are mounted on the support structure 422 and engage the rail 421 so that they can slide to and fro along the rail 421.
  • The crank assembly 408 incorporates a support structure 426 of the front post assembly 404. The support structure 426 is fastened to the central bar 416.
  • It is thus to be understood that the post assemblies 404, 406 and their respective support structures 422, 426 can be considered to define a frame of the static cycling machine. Thus, the crank assembly 408 is mounted on the frame, as is the case with a conventional bicycle. The front post assembly 404 and the rear post assembly 406 together with the support structures 422, 426 simulate a conventional bicycle frame for the purposes of, for example, sizing a frame. This is described in further detail below.
  • A horizontal drive mechanism 428 interconnects the support structures 422, 426 so that the support structure 422 can be driven towards and away from the support structure 426 along the rail 421 as indicated by an arrow 423. Thus, a horizontal distance between the post assemblies 404, 406 can be adjusted.
  • The drive mechanism 428 includes a motor 430 with a lead screw 432 that is mounted on the support structure 426. The lead screw 432 engages a threaded carriage 434 mounted on the support structure 422 (FIG. 40). One of the motor 432 and the lead screw 432 is operatively engaged with an electronic measuring system that is configured to generate a suitable signal that can be processed to represent an extent of displacement of the post assemblies 404, 406 relative to each other. Instead, or in addition, the motor 432 can be a stepper motor or a motor used with positional detector and feedback circuitry. The motor 432 or an associated positional detector can generate a suitable signal representing the extent of displacement of the post assemblies 404, 406 relative to each other. Thus, the motor 432 can be used with appropriate control circuitry to control and record the extent of displacement of the post assemblies relative to each other. The motor 432 can be a motor similar to the motors described above with reference to the machine 10.
  • Details of the crank assembly 408 are shown in FIGS. 42 to 44.
  • The crank assembly 408 includes an axle assembly 436 that is mounted on the support structure 426. A crank arm 438 can be mounted on each of two respective input ends of the axle assembly 436. The axle assembly 436 is configured so that torque applied via one crank arm 438 is isolated from the other crank arm 438. The inventor(s) envisage that this can be achieved in a number of ways.
  • In this example, each crank arm 438 can be fastened to a hub assembly or bottom bracket assembly 440 of the axle assembly 436. The bracket assemblies 440 are mounted on each side of an axle housing 442. An axle 444 is housed within the housing 442. Each end of the axle 444 is engaged with or geared to one of the hub assemblies 440. Each of the bracket assemblies 440 includes a driven plate 446 that is fixed to a respective end of the axle 444 outside the axle housing 442. Each bracket assembly 440 includes a drive plate 448 configured only to engage the driven plate 446 when the associated crank arm 438 is rotationally driven with respect to the axle 444. Each drive plate 448 is fastened to a hub 450. In turn, each crank arm 438 can be fastened to a hub 450. Thus, the axle 444 is isolated from the effects of a non-driving crank arm 438. This facilitates the taking of power measurements from each crank arm 438 without torque interference from the other crank arm 438.
  • The torque isolation described above can be achieved in a number of ways. For example, a conventional ratcheting assembly or pawl and ratchet or catch arrangement generally indicated at 445 can be interposed between the drive plate 448 and the driven plate 446.
  • The crank arm 438 can be of the type that incorporates a measurement device, indicated schematically at 439. Such power measurement devices used on crank arms 438 are known in the industry. Generally, they make use of a strain gauge that generates a signal that results from deflection of the crank arm. The signal is received by a digital signal processor that is capable of processing the signals and generating data representing force exerted on the crank arm. This data can then be used to analyze cycling strokes of a user.
  • In a conventional arrangement, it is common for torque to be transmitted from one crank arm to the other. It will be appreciated that this can interfere with measurements related to each respective leg. It is often desirable to achieve measurements from the legs in isolation from each other. Such independent measurements allow proper analysis of leg power and cycling efficiency. For example, independent measurements are required for proper medical analysis of the effects of an injury on one of the legs or for rehabilitation. It can be difficult to achieve accurate independent measurement where torque transfer is permitted to take place from one crank arm to the other. It follows that the torque isolation mechanism described above, with conventional power measuring crank arms can provide power measurements suitable for independent analysis of cycling strokes.
  • Furthermore, the independent measurements so achieved allow a trainer properly to analyze each leg to uncover problem areas and to work with a cyclist on addressing problems specific to his or her respective legs.
  • A primary gear wheel, pulley or sprocket 464 is mounted on the axle 444 on one side of the axle assembly 436. A driven axle 466 is mounted on the support structure 404. A secondary sprocket 468 is mounted on an input end of the axle 466 on the same side as the sprocket 464. The sprockets 464, 468 are connected together with a drive chain 470.
  • A fan drive gear wheel, pulley or sprocket 472 is mounted on an output end of the driven axle 466. A fan mount 474 extends from the base assembly 402. A fan 476 is mounted on the fan mount 474 in a rotatable manner via a hub 478. A gear wheel, pulley or sprocket 480 is mounted on the hub 478. A drive chain 482 interconnects the sprockets 472, 480. Thus, when a user pedals, the fan 476 is driven. The fan 476 is configured to generate increasing pedaling resistance together with increasing rotational speed.
  • The crank assembly 408 includes a pair of cover plates 542 that are fastened together to cover the sprockets.
  • Detail of each post assembly 404, 406 is shown in FIGS. 45 and 46. Each post assembly 404, 406 includes a lead screw 484. The lead screw 484 can be driven rotationally. The lead screw 484 is threaded into a sleeve 486 with a roller screw assembly 487. The sleeve 486 has an internal thread 488. The sleeve 488 is telescopically received in a tubular housing 490. The sleeve 488 is retained in the tubular housing 490 with a retaining assembly 492. The retaining assembly 492 includes a tubular retainer 494 that is fastened in the housing 490. The sleeve 488 is received through the retainer 494. The retainer 496 inhibits rotation of the sleeve 488, but allows linear displacement of the sleeve 488 relative to the lead screw 484. The lead screw 484 is secured in the housing 490 against linear displacement, but is able to rotate. It follows that rotation of the lead screw 484 causes the sleeve 488 to be displaced in or out of the housing 490 depending on the direction of rotation, as indicated by the arrow 489.
  • A mount 496 is secured to a free end of the sleeve 486 to permit a seat or handlebar assembly to be secured to the sleeve 486. Thus, rotation of the spindle 484 causes displacement of the seat or handlebar assembly relative to a base or other structure on which the post assemblies are mounted.
  • FIGS. 38 and 39 illustrate operation of the post assemblies 404, 406, respectively.
  • In FIG. 39, there is shown a pulley 498 mounted on a lower end of the spindle 484 of the rear post assembly 406. A motor 500 is mounted on the support structure 422. A pulley 502 is mounted on an output shaft 504 of the motor 500. A belt 506 interconnects the pulleys 502, 504. Thus, operation of the motor 500 can cause the sleeve 486 to be moved in or out of the housing 490 in the direction of the arrow 501. In this example, the seat assembly 412 is mounted on the sleeve 486, with the mount 496. It follows that the motor 500 can be used to move the seat assembly 412 back and forth relative to the support structure 422.
  • The motor 500 can be a stepper motor or a motor that is used with positional detector and feedback circuitry. It follows that with suitable calibration and appropriate control circuitry, the motor 500 can be used to generate a signal relating to an extent of adjustment of the seat assembly 412. The machine 400 thus includes suitable control circuitry to allow a user to adjust and record a position of the seat assembly 412 relative to the support structure 422.
  • The inventor(s) envisages that a linear measurement sensor located in the post assembly 406 can be used to adjust and record a position of the seat assembly 412, when used with appropriate control circuitry.
  • In FIG. 38, there is shown a pulley 506 mounted on a lower end of the spindle 484 of the front post assembly 404. A motor 508 is mounted on the support structure 426. A pulley 510 is mounted on an output shaft 512 of the motor 508. A belt 514 interconnects the pulleys 506, 510. Thus, operation of the motor 508 can cause the sleeve 486 to be moved in or out of the housing 490 in the direction of the arrow 509. In this example, the handlebar assembly 410 is mounted on the sleeve 486, with the mount 496. It follows that the motor 508 can be used to move the seat assembly 412 back and forth relative to the support structure 422.
  • The motor 508 can be a stepper motor or a motor that is used with positional detector and feedback circuitry. It follows that with suitable calibration and appropriate control circuitry, the motor 508 can be used to generate a signal relating to an extent of adjustment of the seat assembly 412. The machine 400 thus includes suitable control circuitry to allow a user to adjust and record a position of the seat assembly 412 relative to the support structure 422.
  • The inventor(s) envisages that a linear measurement sensor located in the post assembly 404 can be used to adjust and record a position of the handlebar assembly 412, when used with appropriate control circuitry.
  • Details of the handlebar assembly 410 are shown in FIGS. 35 and 41.
  • The assembly 410 has a carriage assembly 514 that is fastened to the mount 496 of the front post assembly 404. The carriage assembly 514 includes a housing 518 with a rail 520 mounted on the housing 518. A closure plate 516 closes off the housing from underneath. A pair of linear bearings 522 are mounted on the rail 520. A carrier 524 is fastened to the linear bearings 522.
  • The carrier 524 is connected to an actuator 552, via the bearings 522 to drive the carrier 524 to and fro along the rail 520.
  • The actuator 552 is a linear actuator with a motor 556 and a lead screw 558 arranged on and driven by the motor 556. The lead screw 558 is threaded through a follower 560 that is connected to the bearings 522. The motor 556 can be a stepper motor or a motor that is used with positional and feedback circuitry. The motor 556 is capable of being controlled electronically with a suitable control system and of providing positional feedback signals to the control system.
  • The handlebar assembly 410 includes conventional handlebars 526 mounted on the carrier 524. Thus, operation of the motor 556 can be used to adjust a horizontal position of the handlebars 526 as indicated by the arrow 562. The extent of movement of the follower 560 is governed by a chain assembly 562 located in the housing 518.
  • A display mount 528 is mounted on the carrier 524. The display mount 528 is configured so that it can support a control interface 529 that is configured to allow a user to control operation of the motors 430, 500, 508, 556 allowing adjustment of the seat assembly 412 and the handlebar assembly 410 relative to each other and the base assembly 402. The position of the handlebars 526 can also be adjusted.
  • The control interface can take various forms. For example it could be a tablet executing a suitable application. Alternatively, it could be built-for-purpose.
  • The control interface 529 thus forms part of a control system of the machine 400.
  • As is clear from the above description of the machine 400, there are a number of data sources. These are generated by the four motors 430, 500, 508, 556 and the devices 439. It follows that the control system is configured for handling signals generated by the motors and the axle assembly. The control system is defined by control circuitry contained within a housing 530. The housing 530 is mounted on the base assembly 402 with a suitable bracket 532.
  • A power supply 534 is mounted on the base assembly 402 and is configured to supply power to the control circuitry and the motors. The power supply 534 can be external in that it requires connection to an external source. Alternatively, the power supply 534 can include a rechargeable battery. The rechargeable battery could be connectable to the external source. Alternatively, the rechargeable battery could be connected to an electrical generator that is configured to generate electricity as a result of a user's pedaling action.
  • The machine 400 includes a cover assembly 540 that is configured to cover various moving components and to provide aesthetic appeal. The cover assembly 540 includes a vented fan plate 542 to facilitate the flow of air from the fan 476, in use.
  • A pair of castors 536 is mounted on the front cross bar 418. A handle 538 is mounted on the cover assembly 540 at or near a rear of the cover assembly 540. Thus, a user can lift a back of the machine 400 and move it around on the castors 536.
  • In use, data signals generated by the devices 439 are received by the control system while the user pedals. A manner in which such signals are processed is generally indicated in FIG. 47. The control system includes a digital signal processor 544. The processor 544 is operatively connected to the control interface 529 so that the interface 529 can be used to control operation of the motors 430, 500, 508, 556 shown schematically in FIG. 47.
  • The digital signal processor 544 is also configured to communicate with a mobile device 546. A wireless communications arrangement or module 548, such as a wireless chipset, is provided to transmit the signals from the processor 544 to the mobile device 546. In turn, the mobile device 546 is programmed to communicate with a cloud storage means, such as a webserver, or the like, indicated at 550, to make the data available via a network such as the Internet or an Intranet arrangement.
  • The digital signal processor 544 is configured to receive positional data from the stepper motors 430, 500, 508, 556. That data together with the data received from the devices 439 can be used by the mobile device 546, or by any other data processing apparatus, such as the server 550 or a personal computer 551 to generate information relating to positional data that corresponds with best performance data. Such information can be associated with a particular user. Furthermore, such information can be stored online to be made available to a user via a data processing device. For example, a user could receive the data on his or her mobile device when the data is requested.
  • The inventor(s) envisages that the digital signal processor 544 can be configured to receive data via the module 548. It follows that a user can use his or her mobile device to communicate positional data to the processor 544. In turn, the processor 544 can be configured to control the motors to operate to adjust the positions of the support structures 422, 426 relative to each other and the handlebar assembly 410 and seat assembly 412 relative to the base assembly 402 and each other to suit that user for best performance and comfort.
  • Thus, where a number of machines 400 are distributed across a geographical region, or even within a particular location, such as a gym, a user can use his or her mobile device automatically to adjust the machine 400 to suit.
  • The inventor(s) envisage that a wide variety of power measurement devices can be used to generate the data required by the control system.
  • The front post assembly 404 leans forward at an included angle of between about 60 degrees and 70 degrees, for example, about 65 degrees, relative to a support substrate or the base assembly 402. The rear post assembly 406 leans backwards at an included angle of between about 70 degrees and 80 degrees, for example, about 75 degrees, relative to the support substrate or base assembly 402. Furthermore the post assemblies 404, 406 are dimensioned to represent front and rear tubes or frame members of a bicycle frame with a frame size of about 46 inches when the sleeves 486 are fully retracted. The sleeves 486 are dimensioned so that the post assemblies 404, 406 can represent front and rear frame members of a bicycle frame with a frame size of about 64 inches when the sleeves 486 are fully extended. It follows that the position of the sleeves 486 can be adjusted to achieve a range of frame sizes. The inventor(s) envisage that the range of frame sizes can vary beyond the ranges described herein, depending on the required application.
  • It is to be appreciated that the angles of the post assemblies 404, 406 provide a user experience that is similar to that of a conventional bicycle. The reason for this is that the angles of the post assemblies simulate the angles of the front and rear posts or tubes of a bicycle frame. Such angles also provide a user with bicycle-like sensory feedback during dynamic adjustment of the post assemblies. As a result, a user is able to sense a correct or optimum position more accurately than if the adjustment were to take place along separate, operatively vertical and horizontal paths.
  • In particular, it is to be appreciated that the adjustment of the post assemblies takes place along a line that incorporates both vertical and horizontal component. It follows that it is not necessary to adjust vertical and horizontal components separately, or to attempt to provide two separate adjustments at the same time. As is known, movement on a vertical line is movement with one degree of freedom. Movement on a horizontal line is also movement with one degree of freedom. It follows that movement of the seat and down tube assemblies 20, 24 of the machine 10 and movement of the post assemblies 404, 406 is movement with two degrees of freedom.
  • Throughout the specification, including the claims, where the context permits, the term “comprising” and variants thereof such as “comprise” or “comprises” are to be interpreted as including the stated integer or integers without necessarily excluding any other integers.
  • It is to be understood that the terminology employed above is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The described embodiments are intended to be illustrative of the invention, without limiting the scope thereof. The invention is capable of being practised with various modifications and additions as will readily occur to those skilled in the art.
  • Various substantially and specifically practical and useful exemplary embodiments of the claimed subject matter, are described herein, textually and/or graphically, including the best mode, if any, known to the inventors for carrying out the claimed subject matter. Variations (e.g., modifications and/or enhancements) of one or more embodiments described herein might become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading this application. The inventors expect skilled artisans to employ such variations as appropriate, and the inventors intend for the claimed subject matter to be practiced other than as specifically described herein. Accordingly, as permitted by law, the claimed subject matter includes and covers all equivalents of the claimed subject matter and all improvements to the claimed subject matter. Moreover, every combination of the above described elements, activities, and all possible variations thereof are encompassed by the claimed subject matter unless otherwise clearly indicated herein, clearly and specifically disclaimed, or otherwise clearly contradicted by context.
  • The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illuminate one or more embodiments and does not pose a limitation on the scope of any claimed subject matter unless otherwise stated. No language in the specification should be construed as indicating any non-claimed subject matter as essential to the practice of the claimed subject matter.
  • The use of words that indicate orientation or direction of travel is not to be considered limiting. Thus, words such as “front”, “back”, “rear”, “side”, “up”, down”, “upper”, “lower”, “top”, “bottom”, “forwards”, “backwards”, “towards”, “distal”, “proximal”. “in”, “out” and synonyms, antonyms and derivatives thereof have been selected for convenience only, unless the context indicates otherwise. The inventor envisages that various exemplary embodiments of the claimed subject matter can be supplied in any particular orientation and the claimed subject matter is intended to include such orientations.
  • Thus, regardless of the content of any portion (e.g., title, field, background, summary, description, abstract, drawing figure, etc.) of this application, unless clearly specified to the contrary, such as via explicit definition, assertion, or argument, or clearly contradicted by context, with respect to any claim, whether of this application and/or any claim of any application claiming priority hereto, and whether originally presented or otherwise:
      • there is no requirement for the inclusion of any particular described or illustrated characteristic, function, activity, or element, any particular sequence of activities, or any particular interrelationship of elements;
      • no characteristic, function, activity, or element is “essential”;
      • any elements can be integrated, segregated, and/or duplicated;
      • any activity can be repeated, any activity can be performed by multiple entities, and/or any activity can be performed in multiple jurisdictions; and
      • any activity or element can be specifically excluded, the sequence of activities can vary, and/or the interrelationship of elements can vary.
  • The use of the terms “a”, “an”, “said”, “the”, and/or similar referents in the context of describing various embodiments (especially in the context of the following claims) are to be construed to cover both the singular and the plural, unless otherwise indicated herein or clearly contradicted by context. The terms “comprising,” “having,” “including,” and “containing” are to be construed as open-ended terms (i.e., meaning “including, but not limited to,”) unless otherwise noted.
  • Moreover, when any number or range is described herein, unless clearly stated otherwise, that number or range is approximate. Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value and each separate subrange defined by such separate values is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein. For example, if a range of 1 to 10 is described, that range includes all values therebetween, such as for example, 1.1, 2.5, 3.335, 5, 6.179, 8.9999, etc., and includes all subranges therebetween, such as for example, 1 to 3.65, 2.8 to 8.14, 1.93 to 9, etc.
  • Accordingly, every portion (e.g., title, field, background, summary, description, abstract, drawing figure, etc.) of this application, other than the claims themselves, is to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive, and the scope of subject matter protected by any patent that issues based on this application is defined only by the claims of that patent.

Claims (12)

1. A static cycling machine which comprises
a base assembly;
a front post support structure arranged on the base assembly;
a front post assembly arranged on the front post support structure and angled forward with respect to a support substrate, the front post assembly being adjustable in length and configured to permit a handlebar assembly to be mounted thereon;
a rear post support structure arranged on the base assembly;
a rear post assembly arranged on the rear post support structure and angled rearward with respect to the support substrate, the rear post assembly being adjustable in length and configured to permit a seat assembly to be mounted thereon;
linear actuators arranged on respective support structures and operatively engaged with respective post assemblies to adjust the lengths of the post assemblies;
a control system for controlling operation of the linear actuators; and
a crank assembly that is arranged on at least one of the base and support structures.
2. A static cycling machine as claimed in claim 1, in which the crank assembly is arranged on one of the support structures, such that the post assemblies, support structures and the crank assembly define a frame that can simulate a conventional bicycle frame with adjustment of the front and rear post assemblies resulting in adjustment of a frame size of the simulated bicycle frame.
3. A static cycling machine as claimed in claim 2, in which at least one of the support structures is linearly displaceable with respect to the base assembly so that a distance between the post assemblies can be adjusted, the machine including an actuator operatively arranged with respect to the support structures and operable to adjust the distance between the support structures, the actuator being configured for control with the control system.
4. A static cycling machine as claimed in claim 3, in which each linear actuator includes a lead screw that is in threaded engagement with a sleeve, a drive motor being mounted on an associated support structure and operatively engaged with the lead screw such that the drive motor can be used to rotate the lead screw to drive the sleeve linearly, a mount being arranged on a free end of the sleeve so that the seat assembly or the handlebar assembly can be mounted on the sleeve.
5. A static cycling machine as claimed in claim 2, in which the crank assembly includes an axle assembly that is configured so that a crank arm can be mounted on each of two respective input ends of the axle assembly, the axle assembly being configured so that torque applied via one crank arm is isolated from the other crank arm and vice versa.
6. A static cycling machine as claimed in claim 5, in which the axle assembly includes a pair of opposed lower bracket assemblies and an axle extending between and engaged at each end with a respective lower bracket assembly, the bracket assemblies each being configured to transmit torque to the axle only when the associated crank arm is rotationally driven with respect to the axle, thereby isolating the axle from the effects of a non-driving crank arm.
7. A static cycling machine as claimed in claim 6, in which the control system is configured to receive power measurement signals from crank arms, thereby allowing association between maximum power output from respective legs and said positional data.
8. A static cycling machine as claimed in claim 7, in which the control system includes a controller for communicating with the actuators and a control interface for displaying at least positional data to a user.
9. A static cycling machine as claimed in claim 8, which includes a wireless communications module to permit the controller to communicate with a wireless device such that at least one of the positional data and the performance data can be received from, or communicated to, a networked data processing apparatus.
10. A method for using the static cycling machine of claim 1, the method comprising the steps of:
recording a user's details;
measuring power applied at the crank assembly;
operating the actuators until a maximum power applied at the crank assembly is achieved;
recording positional conditions of the actuators corresponding to said maximum power; and
storing the user's details together with the positional conditions in a database.
11. A method as claimed in claim 10, which includes the step of writing data relating to the user's details and the positional conditions of the actuators to a data storage medium.
12. A method as claimed in claim 11, which includes the steps of reading said data relating to the user's details and the positional conditions of the actuators and adjusting the post assemblies in accordance with said data.
US14/245,056 2008-09-26 2014-04-04 Static Cycling Machine Abandoned US20140221158A1 (en)

Priority Applications (5)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2008905016 2008-09-26
AU2008905016A AU2008905016A0 (en) 2008-09-26 Improvements in, or relating to a cycling exercise device
PCT/AU2009/001285 WO2010034078A1 (en) 2008-09-26 2009-09-28 A static cycling machine
US201113120206A true 2011-06-02 2011-06-02
US14/245,056 US20140221158A1 (en) 2008-09-26 2014-04-04 Static Cycling Machine

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US14/245,056 US20140221158A1 (en) 2008-09-26 2014-04-04 Static Cycling Machine

Related Parent Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/AU2009/001285 Continuation-In-Part WO2010034078A1 (en) 2008-09-26 2009-09-28 A static cycling machine
US201113120206A Continuation-In-Part 2011-06-02 2011-06-02

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US20140221158A1 true US20140221158A1 (en) 2014-08-07

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US14/245,056 Abandoned US20140221158A1 (en) 2008-09-26 2014-04-04 Static Cycling Machine

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US20140378280A1 (en) * 2013-06-20 2014-12-25 Cycling Sports Group, Inc. Adjustable stationary fitting vehicle with simulated elevation control
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US10010746B1 (en) * 2016-12-22 2018-07-03 Great Fitness Industrial Co., Ltd. Seat adjustment structure for exercise machine

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