WO1990014974A2 - Actuator device for cable-actuated braking systems - Google Patents

Actuator device for cable-actuated braking systems Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1990014974A2
WO1990014974A2 PCT/US1990/002926 US9002926W WO9014974A2 WO 1990014974 A2 WO1990014974 A2 WO 1990014974A2 US 9002926 W US9002926 W US 9002926W WO 9014974 A2 WO9014974 A2 WO 9014974A2
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
cable
drive member
actuator device
end
outer
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US1990/002926
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO1990014974A3 (en
Inventor
Alfred C. Von Bachmayr
Thomas C. Lacy
Original Assignee
Bachmayr Alfred C Von
Lacy Thomas C
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US35741489A priority Critical
Priority to US357,414 priority
Application filed by Bachmayr Alfred C Von, Lacy Thomas C filed Critical Bachmayr Alfred C Von
Publication of WO1990014974A2 publication Critical patent/WO1990014974A2/en
Publication of WO1990014974A3 publication Critical patent/WO1990014974A3/en

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Classifications

    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16CSHAFTS; FLEXIBLE SHAFTS; ELEMENTS OR CRANKSHAFT MECHANISMS; ROTARY BODIES OTHER THAN GEARING ELEMENTS; BEARINGS
    • F16C1/00Flexible shafts; Mechanical means for transmitting movement in a flexible sheathing
    • F16C1/10Means for transmitting linear movement in a flexible sheathing, e.g. "Bowden-mechanisms"
    • F16C1/12Arrangements for transmitting movement to or from the flexible member
    • F16C1/18Arrangements for transmitting movement to or from the flexible member in which the end portion of the flexible member is laid along a curved surface of a pivoted member
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B62LAND VEHICLES FOR TRAVELLING OTHERWISE THAN ON RAILS
    • B62LBRAKES SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR CYCLES
    • B62L3/00Brake-actuating mechanisms; Arrangements thereof
    • B62L3/02Brake-actuating mechanisms; Arrangements thereof for control by a hand lever
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F16ENGINEERING ELEMENTS AND UNITS; GENERAL MEASURES FOR PRODUCING AND MAINTAINING EFFECTIVE FUNCTIONING OF MACHINES OR INSTALLATIONS; THERMAL INSULATION IN GENERAL
    • F16CSHAFTS; FLEXIBLE SHAFTS; ELEMENTS OR CRANKSHAFT MECHANISMS; ROTARY BODIES OTHER THAN GEARING ELEMENTS; BEARINGS
    • F16C2326/00Articles relating to transporting
    • F16C2326/20Land vehicles

Abstract

An actuator device for use in a braking system for vehicles that are manually steered by handlebars with a control assembly for the vehicle which is cable actuated. The cable has a proximal cable end operatively connected to the control or braking assembly and a distal cable end remote from the braking assembly. Advancement of the cable in a forward direction activates the braking assembly and advancement of the cable in a reverse direction releases the braking assembly. The actuator device has a base member which is mountable on the handlebars, and rotatable drive member which is rotatably mounted by the base member for rotation about a rotational axis that is coaxial with the linear outer arm portion of the handlebar, and to this end, the rotatable drive member telescopically and slideably receives the linear outer arm end portion of handlebar. The rotatable drive member is interconnected to the distal cable end such that rotation of the drive member in a first angular direction advances the cable in a forward direction and rotation of the drive member in a second angular direction advances the cable in reverse direction. An egonomically shaped wing, lever member is attached to the drive member and projections radially outwardly from the rotatable drive so a mechanical advantage is maintained while applying a torque force to the drive member which in turn acts on distal end of the cable.

Description

ACTUATOR DEVICE FOR CABLE-ACTUATED BRAKING SYSTEMS

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a manually operated actuator device for use in cooperation with cable actuated braking systems of the type commonly found on vehicles, for example, bicycles, tricycles, scooters, motor cycles and the like. While this invention is specifically directed to the various cable actuated braking systems, the actuator device according to the present invention has general application to systems wherein a cable is to be manually advanced, with mechanical force advantage, in order to perform a functional operation at a location removed from the actuator device.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A wide variety of vehicles are currently available for the use by and the enjoyment of active persons. Among these vehicles to which the present invention relates are those class of vehicles which are manually steered by means of handle-bars and which use manually operated braking devices. This class of vehicles encompasses not only operator-powered vehicles but also engine and motor driven vehicles. Examples of these vehicles include, without limitation, bicycles, tricycles, scooters, motor cycles, all terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and the like. In each case, a steering column is provided for one or more wheels of the vehicle, and this steering column is manually controlled by handlebars in the form of a pair of oppositely extending arms that project generally radially outwardly from the steering column.

It is well known in such vehicles to utilize various cable actuated systems in operation and control. With respect to operator powered vehicles, it is typical that at least one braking assembly is provided on at least one of the vehicles wheels, and an actuator device is provided on the handlebars for manual actuation of the braking assembly by means of a cable interconnecting the actuator device with the braking assembly. These interconnecting cables are commonly referred to as "Bowden cables". In multi-speed bicycles, gear changing is also typically accomplished by cable driven systems. In powered vehicles, cable actuated braking systems are provided, and, in addition, it is not uncommon for a throttle control to be based on a cable actuated mechanism.

For purposes of the present invention, however, it is important to distinguish between those cable actuated systems which require relatively little mechanical force to operate, such as throttles and gear shifts, and those control systems which require a much greater application of mechanical force to operate. The common example of the latter, of course, being a vehicles braking system. While several different actuator devices for braking systems are known, the most common type of actuator device for braking systems utilizes a lever assembly mounted adjacent to the hand grips on the vehicles handlebars. This lever assembly includes a base member in the form of a clamp mount, and this base member acts as a fulcrum that pivotally mounts an L- shaped lever which receives and engages the distal end of a Bowden cable and which provides an elongated lever arm that extends generally in parallel spaced apart relation to the hand grip. Thus, an operator may partially release the hand grip and apply braking force by squeezing the lever arm and hand grip together. This pivots the lever arm towards the hand grip so that the Bowden cable advances in a forward direction, and as a result of this advancement, activates the braking assembly. Mechanical advantage is gained by the leverage of. the lever arm through the fulcrum point.

Typically in these systems, the braking assembly is spring loaded so that release of the braking lever allows advancement of the cable in a reverse direction so that the actuator device lever returns to its original position as the brake automatically releases. A disadvantage of this system is the requirement that an operator partially release his/her grip on the handlebars in order to manipulate the braking lever of the actuator device.

The present invention, however, is specifically directed to a rotatable hand grip assembly which is structured as an actuator device operative to forcibly advance a brake cable so that an operator may constantly maintain a full grip on the vehicle's handlebars. The advantage of such a rotating grip brake has not heretofore been unknown, with one example of a rotating grip brake for bicycles being shown in United States Patent No. 4,653,613 issued 31 March 1987 to Blancas. As is taught in this patent, a hand grip is rotatably journaled in a housing that defines a base member mounted on the bicycle handlebars. The rotatable grip drives a crank arm that is connected to a cable lever by means of a rigid link so that rotation of the hand grip drives the cable lever between first and second position thus advancing the distal end of the brake actuating cable. While the brake actuator shown in the Blancas patent provides an improvement in that the braking system may be operated without release of the handlebar hand grip, the structure shown is nonetheless rather bulky and does not provide the mechanical advantage of the traditional lever type brake actuator.

Accordingly, there remains a need for improved rotatable brake actuators that allow a vehicle operator to maintain constant grip on the handlebar hand grips and yet which allow the operator to forcibly apply force to cable actuated braking assemblies. There is further need for such a rotatable brake that is both relatively light weight and streamlined.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a new and useful actuator device for cable operated control systems, such as braking systems, wherein a distal end of an activating cable may be forcibly advanced, with mechanical advantage, so as to operate the associated control system.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a remote actuator device for use in cable control systems which actuator device is simple and relatively inexpensive in construction yet rugged and durable in use.

A further object of the present invention is to provide rotatable hand grip actuator device for cable activated control systems, such as braking assemblies, which is compact and streamlined.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a rotatable hand grip actuator device for brakes and other control systems on bicycles including structure permitting mechanical advantage during the rotating operation and which structure is ergonomically configured for use with the human hand.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a new and useful actuator device for use on bicycles which device is easy to mount on the handlebars and which is simple to connect to brake control cables thereof.

According to the broad form of the present invention, then, an actuator device is constructed for use in a braking system for vehicles that are manually steered by an operator by means of handlebars having a pair of oppositely extending arms and wherein a control assembly for the vehicle as cable actuated by means of a cable, such as a Bowden cable. Where the control system is a brake assembly, for example, the cable has a proximal cable end operatively connected to the braking assembly and a distal cable end remote from the braking assembly. Advancement of the cable in a forward direction activates the braking assembly to apply a braking force to the vehicle and advancement of the cable in a reverse direction opposite the forward direction releases the braking assembly to remove the braking force on the vehicle.

The actuator device according to the present invention broadly includes a base member which is mountable on one of the arms of the handlebars, and rotatable drive member which is rotatably mounted by the base member for rotation about a rotational axis that is coaxial with the linear outer arm portion of the handlebar, and to this end, the rotatable drive member telescopically and slideably receives the linear outer arm end portion of the handlebar. Structure is provided to interconnect the rotatable drive member to the distal cable end in a manner such that rotation of the drive member in a first angular direction forcibly advances the cable in a forward direction and rotation of the drive member in a second angular direction allows the cable to be advanced in the reverse direction. In order to provide mechanical advantage, a lever member is attached to the drive member and projections radially outwardly from the rotatable drive member whereby the operator may maintain mechanical advantage while applying a torque force to the drive member which in turn acts on distal end of the cable. Preferably, this lever member is an ergonomically shaped wing that is laterally attached to the drive member and that has a concavity to accommodate the finger tips of the operator.

In the preferred form of the present invention, the base member forms a housing which mounts, in its interior, a pivot arm for pivotal movement about a pivot axis between a first and second position. The distal end of the cable is secured to the pivot arm whereby movement of the pivot arm acts to advance the cable. A flexible drive cable then interconnects the drive member and the pivot arm. To this end, the flexible drive cable has a first end releasably secured to the drive member and a second end releasably secured to the pivot arm so that rotation of the drive member in a first angular direction operates to forcibly move the pivot arm towards the first position whereby subsequent rotation of the drive member in a second angular direction allows the pivot arm to move towards the second position.

The base member may be formed by a pair of connectable sections adapted to clamp together around a selected linear end portion of the handlebar arm so as to prevent relative rotation of the base member on the handlebars. These connectable sections may include an upper and a lower section, in the lower section may contain an interior chamber which the pivot arm is mounted, preferably along a pivot axis orthogonal to the rotational axis of the drive member. The drive cable may be a wire cable that has castings secured at either end. One of these castings may be received by the pivot arm, the other of these castings may be received between protrusions formed on these circumference of the drive member. Thus, as the drive member is rotated, the cable is wrapped around the drive member. eyways and slots are provided in both the pivot arm and the housing to permit quick and easy connection of the drive cable and the distal cable end. In an alternate embodiment, though, the drive cable may be in the form of a chain having one end connected to the pivot arm and the other end secured to the drive member. The drive member, in turn, includes a fitting, such as a sprocket, that has sprocket teeth adapted to engage the links of the drive chain cable. These and other objects of the present invention will become more readily appreciated and understood from a consideration of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment when taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1-is a perspective view of a forward section of a representative bicycle showing the handlebars and actuator devices according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention mounted on the bicycle's handlebars;

Figure 2 is an exploded view, in perspective, showing an actuator device according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 3 is a bottom view in perspective of the lower section of tiie base member showing its cable receiving keyway and slot structure;

Figure 4 is a side view in cross-section of the pivot arm showing its cable receiving keyway and slot structure; Figure 5 is a rear view in elevation showing the actuator device and lever arm member according to the present invention;

Figure 6 is a cross-sectional view taken about lines 4-4 of Figure 3;

Figure 7 is a cross-sectional view taken about lines 5-5 of Figure 4;

Figure 8 is a cross-sectional view taken about lines 8-8 of Figure 5;

Figure 9 is an end view in elevation showing manual operation of the actuator device of Figures 1-5;

Figures 10a and 10b show a first alternate embodiment of the lever arm member according to the present invention;

Figures 11a and lib show a second alternate embodiment of the lever arm member according to the present invention;

Figures 12a and 12b shown a third alternate embodiment of the lever arm member according to the present invention;

Figure 13 shows a cross-sectional view, similar to Figure 4, showing an alternate structure of the drive cable and linkage; and

Figure 14 shows an exploded view in perspective of an alternate actuator device of the present invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an actuator device which is especially adapted as a cable actuator used with control systems for vehicles such as bicycles, motorcycles and the like, as noted above. For purposes of this disclosure, the invention is described with respect to a bicycle; it should be readily understood by the ordinarily skilled person, however, that the structure of this invention as taught herein may be readily adapted and applied as to any manually actuated system in which tension on a cable operates the system by advancing the cable.

As is shown in Figure 1, then, a pair of actuator devices 10 are mounted on handlebars 12 of bicycle 14. Bicycle 14 has a front wheel 16, and a braking assembly 18 is provided for front wheel 16 with braking assembly 18 being controlled by a cable 20 connected to a left hand actuator device 10. A similar braking assembly for a rear wheel (not shown) is controlled by a cable 22 connected to right hand actuator device 10. Cable 20 has a proximal end 24 connected to braking assembly 18 and distal end 26 is connected to left hand actuator 10. Each of actuator devices 10 are rotatable, respectively, in the direction of arrows A, to advance their respective cables 20, 22. Handlebars 12 includes a pair of arms 28 and 30 oppositely extending from one another and terminating in outer linear end portions 29 which receive a respective actuator device 10 and which have outer arms ends remote from pivot support 32.

The construction of the representative actuator device 10 is best shown in Figures 2-8. Here, it may be seen that actuator device 10 broadly includes a base member 40 formed by an upper section 42 and lower section 44. A rotatable drive member 80 is rotatably mounted by base member 40, and a lever member 100 is attached to drive member 80 and projects radially outwardly therefrom.

More particularly, as may be seen in Figures 2, 6 and 7, upper section 42 and lower section 44 of base member 40 may be mounted together by means of a plurality of nut and bolt sets 46 so that clamping surfaces 48 and 50 of upper and lower sections 42 and 44, respectively, clamp onto outer arm end portion 29 so that base member 40 is firmly secured thereto. To this end, lower section 44 is provided with flanges 54 having bores 55, and upper section 42 has matching threaded bores which align with bores 55. When positioned together these respective bores are aligned to receive bolts 46 with the bolts 46 being threadably received in upper section 42. Tightening of bolts 50 thus clamps sections 42 and 44 together.

Upper section 42 includes an annular channel 56 formed in clamping surface 48, and channel 56 faces a corresponding annular channel 58 formed in clamping surface 50 of lower section 44. Channels 56 and 58 cooperate with one another to form an annular chamber 60 as is best shown in Figure 6, although, as described below, channel 56 has a greater radial depth than channel 58. Further, lower section 44 includes a rectangular interior chamber 62 adapted to house connecting linkage, as described below. In this manner, then, upper section 42 and lower section 44, when assembled into base member 40, form a housing unit that may be relatively rigidly but removably clamped to a linear arm portion 29 of a selected arm 28 of handlebars 12.

As may be seen in Figures 2-8, a rotatable drive member 80 is formed by generally cylindrical sleeve 82 that is provided at one end with a fitting 84 and is sized to telescopically receive linear end arm portion 29 along axis L thereof. Axis L is the longitudinal axis of linear end arm portion 29 and also defines an axis of rotation for sleeve 82 of drive member 80. As is known in the art, sleeve 82 of drive member 80 may be constructed of a suitable plastic material so that it may be supported along its length by arm portion 29 while being slideably rotatable thereon. Thus, no bearings are required.

Rotatable drive member 80 is operative to advance a cable, such as cable 20, in a forward direction to activate a selective vehicle control system, such as braking assembly 18. To this end, linkage is provided to interconnect distal end 26 of representative cable 20 to a fitting 84 on rotatable drive member 80. As is shown in the Figures, an intermediate cable 86 has a first casting 88 and a second casting 90 firmly attached thereto. A circumferential fitting 84 is mounted on sleeve 82, and fitting 84 has a plurality of radial protrusions 92 which create a space 94 adapted for close fitted nesting of second casting 90 therein. To this end, when drive member 80 is rotated in an angular direction protrusions 92 wrap about inner end 83 of sleeve 82. Channel 56 is sized to have a radial depth sufficient for free passage of both fitting 84 and protrusions 92; however, channel 58 is sized to permit passage of fitting 84 but not protrusions 92. This configuration therefore defines a limit stop for rotation of drive member 80 in base member 40.

The assembly of actuator device 10 can now be more fully explained. First end casting 88 is mounted in pivot arm 64 which is provided with a transverse opening 66. A peripheral slot 68 extends around a lower portion of the perimeter of pivot arm 64 and communicates with opening 66 as is shown in Figures 2 and 4 to define a pair of wings 67 and 69. A keyway 70 opens laterally of pivot arm 64 and is in communication with slot 68 and opening 66. End casting 88 may therefore be mounted, as is shown in Figure 4, by inserting casting 88 laterally into opening 66 with cable 86 passing through keyway 70. Cable 86 is then pivoted, to the position shown in Figure 4, and it can be seen that cable 86 passes through slot 68 between wings 67 and 69. Second end casting 90 is rotated at a ninety degree angle to casting 88 and has oppositely facing flat sides 91. Second end casting 90 is mounted and retained by protrusions 92 by laterally inserting casting 90 into space 94. Flattened sides 91 are employed to reduce the profile of second end casting 90 in order to reduce the depth of channel 56 and thus the size of base member 40.

Similarly, distal end 26 of cable 30 is mounted to pivot arm 64 after arm 64 is mounted in housing portion 63 of lower section 44 by means of axial pin 76 that extends through holes 79 in housing portion 63 and hole 97 in pivot arm 64. Pin 76 is retained therein by C- clip 78 to form a pivot axle for pivot arm 64. To this end, housing 63 has an opening 65 sized to allow passage therethrough of end casting 27. A slot 71 best shown in Figure 3, is formed in the base of housing 63 and communicates with chamber 62. Slot 71 also extends radially through cylindrical nipple 72 which is threaded to receive adjustable coupling 74 of a type standard in the art. A keyway 77 communicates with both chamber 62 and slot 71 and is aligned with keyway 70 of pivot arm 64 when pivot arm 64 is mounted in housing 63 in a relaxed state. End casting 27 is secured to pivot arm 64 by laterally inserting casting 27 sequentially through opening and into opening 66. As this is done, cable 26 passes first through keyway 77 and then through keyway 70. Cable 26 may then be pivoted in the plane of housing 63 until it is aligned coaxially with nipple 72. This is accomplished by swinging cable 26 through slot 71. Upper and lower sections 42 and 44 are clamped on arm position 29 with rotatable drive member 80 received on arm position 29. Fitting 84 is secured in annular chamber 60. Coupling 74 is then threaded onto nipple 72 and tension is adjusted to cable 26 by way of wheel 81.

It may be appreciated from the foregoing that, when rotatable drive member 80 is rotated in a first angular direction as is shown by arrows A in Figures 1, 7, and 9, pivot arm 64 is pivoted between the second position, shown in solid lines in Figure 9, and the first position, shown in phantom in Figure 9. This movement causes cable 20 to advance in a forward direction as is represented by arrow E in Figure 9; thus, the proximal end of cable 20 operates the braking assembly so that braking force is applied. Rotation of drive member 80 and an angular direction opposite arrow A allows reverse advancement of cable 20 and release of the braking assembly and thus remove the braking force. Due to reduced radial depth of channel 58, a shoulder 59 is formed adjacent chamber 62. When drive member rotates oppositely of arrow A, protrusions 92 with abut shoulder 59 to provide a limit stop against overrotation.

In order to facilitate application of the braking force, and to gain mechanical advantage, lever member 100 is provided. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, lever member 100 is an ergonomically configured structure adapted to the shape of the human hand. This structure is best shown in Figures 1, 2, 8 and 9. Here, it may be seen that lever member 100 is preferably formed as a lateral wing element having an inner lateral edge portion 102 proximate drive member 80, an outer lateral edge 107, an outer side edge 103 and an inner side edge 105 opposite outer side edge 103. A lower surface 104 of lever 100 has a concavity 106. Thus, as is shown in Figures 5, 8 and 9, drive member 80 may be grasped by the human hand with the palm portion above wing shaped lever member 100 with the fingers extending circumferentially around the outer surface of the drive member in one direction. The thumb extending circumferentially around the outer surface of the drive member in the opposite direction to be opposed to the fingers and such that the finger tips may be received in concavity 108.

To facilitate the shape of the human thumb, the inner side edge 104 of lever member 100 is contoured to the shape of the thumb. To this end, it may be seen that the inner side edge 105 forms an arcuate surface between the outer lateral side edge 107 and the sleeve 82 so that the portion of side edge 105 located adjacent to drive member 80 is canted with respect to the axis of rotation L. If desired, resilient padding 98 may be provided on the exterior drive member 80 as well as lever member 100.

As is shown in Figure 6, then, an operator can obtain mechanical advantage in the rotation of drive member 80 by means of simply pushing down on lever member 100 while maintaining full grasp of sleeve 82. This act forcibly rotates rotatable drive member 80 in an angular direction to apply force on cable 20. It should be further appreciated that the operator of a vehicle equipped with the actuator device 10 as described above can readily and firmly apply the vehicle brakes without the necessity of removing his/her hand from the outer ends of handlebars 12 or otherwise diminishing his/her grasp thereon. The provision of lever 100 allows substantial force to be applied to the braking system without otherwise unduly straining the operators hand or subjecting the operators hand to the risk of blisters or other damage.

Naturally, the above description has been set forth with respect to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, but it should also be understood that other structures of lever 100 may be utilized without departing from the scope of the present invention. Other representative examples of lever 100 are shown, without limitation, in Figures 10a, and 10b, Figures 11a, and lib and

Figure 12a and 12b. As shown in Figures 10a and 10b, a modified actuator device 120 is provided wherein a lever member 122 is constructed as a flat tongue that extends radially outwardly from rotatable drive member 124 at mid-section thereof. Lever member 122 is configured to underly the palm and wrist of the operator when drive member

124 is grasped. Figures 11a and lib shown a lever member

132 attached to actuator device 130 with lever 132 extending radially outwardly from rotatable drive member 134.

Lever member 132 is generally U-shaped in configuration having an outer leg segment 133, an inner leg segment 135 and a span segment 137 interconnecting leg segments 133 and 135.

Thus, opening 138 is formed to accommodate the rider's fingertips. Inner leg segment 135 makes a one- quarter spiral twist between span segment 137 and drive member 134.

This twist accommodates the curve of the thumb by having a contoured inner edge, such as inner edge 136 which is similar in shape to inner side edge 105 described with respect to the preferred embodiment. Finally, Figures 12a and 12b show a third alternate embodiment wherein a lever member 140 is formed similarly to lever member 100 but lacks contoured edge

105. Here, lever 140 again extends radially outwardly from rotatable drive member 144 of actuator device 140 and includes a central opening 148 to accommodate the finger tips of the operator.

Figure 13 shows an alternate embodiment of the cable interconnecting the pivot arm 64 to the rotatable drive member 80 according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention. As is shown in Figure 10, this interconnecting cable is formed by a chain 186 comprised of a plurality of links such as links 188 so that a first link 190 is secured to casting 192 and an end link 194 is located at an end opposite casting 192. Rotatable drive member 180 is provided with a fitting 184 constructed as a sprocket having sprocket teeth 185 which engage links 188 of chain 186 so as to advance pivot arm 64 toward the first position which, in turn, advances cable 20 in the forward direction. In all other aspects of construction and operation, the embodiment shown in Figure 10 is similar to that described with respect to the preferred embodiment shown in Figures 1-6. Finally, as is shown in Figure 14 an alternate embodiment of the actuator device 10 is provided which simplifies some of the construction features. Here, actuator device 210 is mounted on linear arm end portion 229 of a vehicle's handlebar by means of a base member constructed of an upper section 242 and a lower section 244. Sections 242 and 244 are secured together by means of a pair of bolts 246. Upper section 242 includes a channel 256 that faces a complimentary channel 258 formed in lower section 244 so that, when sections 242 and 244 are firmly clamped on linear end arm portion 229, channels 256 and 258 form an annular chamber adapted to received protrusions 292 of fitting 284 which is secured to rotatable drive member 280. Cable 220 is attached to lower section 244 and it includes a distal end 226 having a casting 227 adapted to fit in space 294 defined by protrusions 292. A lever member 300 is provided similar to lever 100 in the preferred embodiment so that mechanical advantage may be gained to apply torque in rotating rotatable drive member 280. To this end, drive member 280 again telescopically receives linear end portion 229. As may be seen in Figure 11, though, much of the linkage structure described with respect to the preferred embodiment is eliminated with a portion of cable 220 adjacent distal end 226 being wrapped around rotatable drive member 280 as it is angularly rotated. Fitting 236 is provided to be screw threaded in to lower section 244 to mount cable 220 so that the cable 220 is orthogonal to a common longitudinal axis of rotatable drive member 280 and linear end arm portion 229 and generally tangent to the outer surface of rotatable 280. Accordingly, the present invention has been described with some degree of particularity directed to the preferred embodiment of the present invention. It should be appreciated, though, that the present invention is defined by the following claims construed in light of the prior art so that modifications or changes may be made to the preferred embodiment of the present invention without departing from the inventive concepts contained herein.

Claims

We Claim:
1. In a control system for vehicles wherein an operator manually steers a vehicle by means of a handlebar that has a pair of oppositely extending arms each terminating at an outer arm end and wherein a control assembly, such as a braking assembly and the like, is provided for the vehicle and is actuated by a cable having a proximal cable end operatively connected to the control assembly and a distal cable end is located remote from the control assembly whereby advancement of the cable in a forward direction activates the control assembly and subsequent advancement of the cable in a reverse direction opposite the forward direction releases the control assembly, an actuator device for said control assembly comprising: a base member mountable on one of the arms of said handlebars; a rotatable drive member receiving an outer arm end portion of the handlebar and rotatably mounted by said base member for rotation about a rotational axis coaxial with the outer arm end portion; means for interconnecting said drive member to the distal cable end whereby rotation of the drive member in a first angular direction forcibly advances the cable in the forward direction and whereby rotation of the drive member in a second angular direction allows the cable to be advanced in the reverse direction; and a lever member attached to said drive member and projecting radially outwardly therefrom whereby the operator may gain mechanical advantage in applying a torque force to the drive member to increase tension forces on the cable tending to advance the cable in the forward direction.
2. The actuator device according to Claim 1 wherein said lever member is formed as a lateral wing element having an outer lateral edge spaced from said drive member, an outer side edge proximate the outer arm end and extending radially between said drive member and said outer lateral edge, and an inner side edge opposite the outer side edge and extending radially between the drive member and said outer lateral edge.
3. The actuator device according to Claim 2 wherein the drive member defines a hand grip adapted to be grasped by the human hand with the fingers extending circumferentially around a portion of the outer surface of the drive member in one direction and with the thumb extending circumferentially around the outer surface of the drive member in an opposite direction to be opposed to the fingers, said wing element being contoured to the shape of the human hand.
4. The actuator device according to Claim 3 including a concavity formed in a lower surface of said wing element operative to accommodate tip portions of the fingers when the drive member is grasped by the human hand.
5. The actuator device according to Claim 2 wherein said wing element is formed in a U-shaped configuration having an outer leg segment and an inner leg segment, each of said outer and inner leg segments attached to said drive member and respectively forming the outer and inner side edges of the wing element, and a span segment extending between said outer and inner leg segments and spaced from the drive member to form an opening in the wing element adapted to accommodate tip portions of the fingers when the drive member is grasped by the human hand.
6. The actuator device according to Claim 1 including resilient padding on outer surface portions of said drive member and said lever member.
7. An actuator device for cable-actuated braking systems on vehicles wherein an operator manually steers the vehicle by means of handlebars that have oppositely extending arms each terminating with an outer linear end portion having an outer arm end and wherein the braking system includes at least one brake assembly, a cable having a proximal cable end operatively connected to the brake assembly and a distal cable end remote from the brake assembly whereby advancement of the cable in a forward direction moves the brake assembly from a first braking state into a second braking state and whereby advancement of the cable direction in a reverse direction opposite the forward direction allows the brake assembly to return to the first braking state, the actuator device comprising: a base member mountable on a selected one of said outer linear end portions; a rotatable drive member telescopically receiving the selected one of the outer linear end portions and mounted by said base member for rotation about a rotational axis common with the longitudinal axis of said linear end portion; a pivot arm mounted to said base member for pivotal movement about a pivot axis between a first position and a second position said pivot arm securing the distal end of said cable thereto whereby movement of said pivot arm toward said first position operates to advance the cable in the forward direction and movement of said pivot arm toward said second position allows said cable to advance in the reverse direction; and a flexible drive cable having a first end secured to said drive member and a second end secured to said pivot arm whereby rotation of said drive member in a first angular direction operates to forcibly move said pivot arm toward said first position and whereby subsequent rotation of said drive member in a second angular direction allows said pivot arm to move toward the first position.
8. The actuator device according to Claim 7 wherein the pivot axis of said pivot arm is orthogonal to the rotational axis of said drive member.
9. The actuator device according to Claim 7 wherein said base member is formed of a pair of connectable sections adapted to clamp together around the selected linear end portion at a selected distance from the outer arm end thereof, said connectable sections when connected forming a housing having a first interior chamber in which said pivot arm is mounted, including adjustment means for adjusting the effective length of said cable.
10. The actuator device according to Claim 9 wherein said drive cable is formed by a wire cable having a first end casting secured by said pivot arm and a second end casting secured to said drive member.
11. The actuator device according to Claim 10 including a fitting on the circumference of said drive member, said fitting having radial protrusions defining means for mounting said second end casting for rotational movement therewith.
12. The actuator device according to Claim 10 wherein said sections when connected form an annular chamber, a portion of which sized to accommodate passage of said fitting, said protrusions and said second end casting as said drive member is rotated with respect to said base member.
13. The actuator device according to Claim 12 wherein said chamber includes limit stop means for prohibiting relative rotation of said drive member past in excess of a selected angular degree.
14. The actuator device according to Claim 10 wherein said cable has a distal end casting at the distal end thereof, and wherein said pivot arm has an opening operative to capture said first end casting and said distal end casting.
15. The actuator device according to Claim 14 wherein said pivot arm includes a peripheral slot communicating with the opening and a keyway communicating with both slot and the opening.
16. The actuator device according to Claim 7 wherein said drive cable is formed by a length of drive chain having a plurality of links, and including a fitting on the circumference of said drive member, said fitting having sprocket teeth for engaging the links of said drive chain as said drive member is rotated in the first angular direction.
PCT/US1990/002926 1989-05-26 1990-05-23 Actuator device for cable-actuated braking systems WO1990014974A2 (en)

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US357,414 1989-05-26

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO1993018946A1 (en) * 1992-03-24 1993-09-30 Dolomite Svenska Aktiebolag An apparatus for actuating
US5953962A (en) * 1995-11-13 1999-09-21 1029894 Ontario Inc. Cable controller
FR3046594A1 (en) * 2016-01-12 2017-07-14 Decathlon Sa Braking device for a vehicle comprising a handlebar and a brake cable

Citations (5)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE822502C (en) * 1949-08-09 1951-11-26 Motobecane Ateliers Twist grip control, especially for motorcycles
CH291089A (en) * 1951-04-28 1953-05-31 Charbonnier Robert Device control twist grip for handlebars, especially cycle.
US4232565A (en) * 1978-08-17 1980-11-11 Mcminnville Tool & Die, Inc. Throttle twist-grip control device
US4653613A (en) * 1985-12-02 1987-03-31 Rueben Blancas Rotating grip brake for bicycles
US4771649A (en) * 1985-11-19 1988-09-20 Modolo Adamo & C. S.N.C. Driving means of a bicycle brake, in particular a racing bicycle

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE822502C (en) * 1949-08-09 1951-11-26 Motobecane Ateliers Twist grip control, especially for motorcycles
CH291089A (en) * 1951-04-28 1953-05-31 Charbonnier Robert Device control twist grip for handlebars, especially cycle.
US4232565A (en) * 1978-08-17 1980-11-11 Mcminnville Tool & Die, Inc. Throttle twist-grip control device
US4771649A (en) * 1985-11-19 1988-09-20 Modolo Adamo & C. S.N.C. Driving means of a bicycle brake, in particular a racing bicycle
US4653613A (en) * 1985-12-02 1987-03-31 Rueben Blancas Rotating grip brake for bicycles

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO1993018946A1 (en) * 1992-03-24 1993-09-30 Dolomite Svenska Aktiebolag An apparatus for actuating
US5953962A (en) * 1995-11-13 1999-09-21 1029894 Ontario Inc. Cable controller
FR3046594A1 (en) * 2016-01-12 2017-07-14 Decathlon Sa Braking device for a vehicle comprising a handlebar and a brake cable
WO2017121948A1 (en) * 2016-01-12 2017-07-20 Decathlon Vehicle braking system comprising a handle and a brake cable

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