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Publication numberUS20070049467 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/450,082
Publication dateMar 1, 2007
Filing dateJun 9, 2006
Priority dateAug 24, 2005
Publication number11450082, 450082, US 2007/0049467 A1, US 2007/049467 A1, US 20070049467 A1, US 20070049467A1, US 2007049467 A1, US 2007049467A1, US-A1-20070049467, US-A1-2007049467, US2007/0049467A1, US2007/049467A1, US20070049467 A1, US20070049467A1, US2007049467 A1, US2007049467A1
InventorsMichael Lin
Original AssigneeMichael Lin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exercise apparatus
US 20070049467 A1
Abstract
An exercise apparatus is provided. The exercise apparatus includes a base disposed on a surface, a bicycle frame having a first side and a second side and pivotally mounted on the base, a first supporter disposed on the first side, and a simulating device disposed on the bicycle frame to simulate a real bicycle riding. While the bicycle frame is swinging to the first side, the first supporter contacts the base to prevent the bicycle frame from swinging beyond a specific extent.
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Claims(20)
1. An exercise apparatus, comprising:
a base disposed on a ground;
a bicycle frame pivotally mounted on the base and having a swinging axis;
a controlling unit pivotally mounted on the bicycle frame and mounting an adapting unit thereon, the adapting unit contacting and movable on the ground; and
a supporter disposed between the bicycle frame and the base,
wherein while the bicycle frame is swinging to a first side, the supporter prevents the bicycle frame from swinging beyond a specific extent.
2. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a gyro-wheel pivotally mounted on the bicycle frame.
3. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the swinging axis is above a center of the gyro-wheel.
4. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 2, wherein the swinging axis is under a center of the gyro-wheel.
5. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the controlling unit has a rotating axis pointing to the ground.
6. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the controlling unit further comprises a handle opposite to the adapting unit for controlling therefor.
7. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the controlling unit further comprises a rail movably running the adapting unit thereon.
8. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the adapting unit has only one roller that is linearly disposed with the bicycle frame at an instance.
9. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a connecting unit pivotally connecting the base with the bicycle frame.
10. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 9, wherein the connecting unit further comprises:
a connecting rod formed on the bicycle frame; and
a connecting seat formed on the base, wherein the supporting rod and the supporting seat pivotally connect to each other.
11. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 9, wherein the connecting unit provides the swinging axis.
12. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the supporter further comprises:
a first supporting arm fixed to the bicycle frame at the first side; and
a second supporting arm fixed to the bicycle frame at a second side opposite to the first side, wherein while the bicycle frame swings to one of the first side and the second side, a respective one of the first supporting arm and the second arm touches the base to stop the bicycle frame from swinging beyond the specific extent.
13. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the supporter further comprises a first elastic unit connecting the bicycle frame with the base at the first side, so that while the bicycle frame swings to the first side, the first elastic unit pushes the bicycle frame back to a desired position.
14. An exercise apparatus, comprising:
a base;
a bicycle frame pivotally mounted on the base and forming a swinging axis;
a first zone and a second zone divided by the swing axis;
a controlling unit pivotally mounted on the bicycle frame and mounting an adapting unit thereon; and
a supporter disposed between the bicycle frame and the base,
wherein while the bicycle frame is swinging to the first zone, the controlling unit moves the adapting unit toward the first zone to create a reaction force pushing the bicycle frame toward the second zone and the supporter stops the bicycle frame to prevent the bicycle frame from swinging beyond a specific extent.
15. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 14, wherein the first zone begins from a right side of the bicycle frame and the second zone begins from a left side of the bicycle frame.
16. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 14, wherein the supporter further comprises:
a first bar fixed on the right side of the bicycle frame;
a first limiter mounted on the base and below the first bar;
a second bar fixed on the right side of the bicycle frame; and
a second limiter mounted on the base and below the second bar,
wherein while the bicycle frame swings to one of the first zone and the second zone, a respective one of the first bar and the second bar is stopped by one of the first limiter and the second limiter to prevent the bicycle frame from turnover.
17. An exercise apparatus, comprising:
a base disposed on a surface;
a bicycle frame having a first side and a second side, and pivotally mounted on the base;
a first supporter disposed on the first side; and
a simulating device disposed on the bicycle frame to simulate a real bicycle riding,
wherein while the bicycle frame is swinging to the first side, the first supporter contacts the base to prevent the bicycle frame from swinging beyond a specific extent.
18. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 17, wherein the simulating device further comprises a gyro-wheel pivotally mounted on the bicycle frame.
19. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 17, wherein the simulating device comprises only one adapting unit that is linearly disposed with the bicycle frame at an instance.
20. The exercise apparatus as claimed in claim 17, wherein the simulating device further comprises:
a linking rod pivotally mounted on the bicycle frame; and
an adapting unit fixed to the linking rod and contacting the surface,
wherein the adapting unit is linearly disposed with the bicycle frame at an instance.
Description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an exercise apparatus, and more particular to an exercise apparatus that virtually simulates a real bicycle riding.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The conventional exercise bicycles are generally operated by pedaling a rotatable wheel with a variable and adjustable resistance, so as to cause a corresponding amount of the energy consumption for the exerciser. It is so drab for the exerciser to do the body-building with such an exercise apparatus, and the exerciser may hence lose his interests thereon and give it up. However, conventional exercise bicycles only provide for an indoor exercise. The exerciser just pedals mechanically without feeling any road condition variation and acquiring any experience in handling such road conditions, which may make the exerciser lose his interests. In other words, exercising on a conventional exercise bike decreases the desire of the exerciser, and thus hinders the exerciser from developing his physical strength. In addition, a device for exercising the limbs and torso of the exerciser is disadvantageous in that the rotatable wheel thereof is positioned below the seat, which makes the exerciser fail to keep the balance while exercising.

For overcoming the mentioned disadvantage of the prior art, a novel exercise apparatus is provided in the present invention. The provided exercise apparatus is capable of providing the exerciser with an improved balance while exercising the therewith, so as to simulate a real bicycle riding and make the exerciser more interested in exercising.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an aspect of the present invention to provide an exercise apparatus with which the exerciser would keep his balance while being on the bicycle frame thereof.

It is another aspect of the present invention to provide an exercise apparatus which can prevent itself from swinging beyond a specific extent.

For achieving the objects above, the present invention provides an exercise apparatus, including a base disposed on a ground, a bicycle frame pivotally mounted on the base and having a swinging axis, a controlling unit pivotally mounted on the bicycle frame and mounting an adapting unit thereon, the adapting unit contacting and movable on the ground, and a supporter disposed between the bicycle frame and the base. In which, while the bicycle frame is swinging to a first side, the supporter prevents the bicycle frame from swinging beyond a specific extent.

Preferably, the exercise apparatus further includes a gyro-wheel pivotally mounted on the bicycle frame.

Preferably, the swinging axis is above a center of the gyro-wheel.

Preferably, the swinging axis is under a center of the gyro-wheel.

Preferably, the the controlling unit has a rotating axis pointing to the ground.

Preferably, the controlling unit further includes a handle opposite to the adapting unit for controlling therefor.

Preferably, the controlling unit further includes a rail movably running the adapting unit thereon.

Preferably, the adapting unit has only one roller that is linearly disposed with the bicycle frame at an instance.

Preferably, the exercise apparatus further has a connecting unit pivotally connecting the base with the bicycle frame.

Preferably, the connecting unit further includes a connecting rod formed on the bicycle frame and a connecting seat formed on the base, wherein the supporting rod and the supporting seat pivotally connect to each other.

Preferably, the connecting unit provides the swinging axis.

Preferably, the supporter further includes a first supporting arm fixed to the bicycle frame at the first side and a second supporting arm fixed to the bicycle frame at a second side opposite to the first side, wherein while the bicycle frame swings to one of the first side and the second side, a respective one of the first supporting arm and the second arm touches the base to stop the bicycle frame from swinging beyond the specific extent.

Preferably, the supporter further includes a first elastic unit connecting the bicycle frame with the frame at the first side, so that while the bicycle frame swings to the first side, the first elastic unit pushes the bicycle frame back to a desired position.

According to above aspects, the present invention provides another exercise apparatus. The exercise apparatus includes a base, a bicycle frame pivotally mounted on the base and forming a swinging axis, a first zone and a second zone divided by the swing axis, a controlling unit pivotally mounted on the bicycle frame and mounting an adapting unit thereon, and a supporter disposed between the bicycle frame and the base, wherein while the bicycle frame is swinging to the first zone, the controlling unit moves the adapting unit toward the first zone to create a reaction force pushing the bicycle frame toward the second zone and the supporter stops the bicycle frame to prevent the bicycle frame from swinging beyond a specific extent.

The exercise apparatus as set forth above, wherein the first zone begins from a right side of the bicycle frame and the second zone begins from a left side of the bicycle frame.

The exercise apparatus as set forth above, wherein the supporter further includes a first bar fixed on the right side of the bicycle frame, a first limiter mounted on the base and below the first bar, a second bar fixed on the right side of the bicycle frame, and a second limiter mounted on the base and below the second bar, wherein while the bicycle frame swings to one of the first zone and the second zone, a respective one of the first bar and the second bar is stopped by one of the first limiter and the second limiter to prevent the bicycle frame from turnover.

According to above aspects, the present invention further provides yet another exercise apparatus, including a base disposed on a surface, a bicycle frame having a first side and a second side, and pivotally mounted on the base, a first supporter disposed on the first side, and a simulating device disposed on the bicycle frame to simulate a real bicycle riding, wherein while the bicycle frame is swinging to the first side, the first supporter contacts the base to prevent the bicycle frame from swinging beyond a specific extent.

In accordance with the present invention, the simulating device further includes a gyro-wheel pivotally mounted on the bicycle frame.

In accordance with the present invention, the simulating device includes only one adapting unit that is linearly disposed with the bicycle frame at an instance.

In accordance with the present invention, the simulating device further includes a linking rod pivotally mounted on the bicycle frame, and an adapting unit fixed to the linking rod and contacting the surface, wherein the adapting unit is linearly disposed with the bicycle frame at an instance.

The above contents and advantages of the present invention will become more readily apparent to those ordinarily skilled in the art after reviewing the following detailed descriptions and accompanying drawings, in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an exercise apparatus according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a connecting unit of the exercise apparatus according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 3(a) and 3(b) are front views schematically showing the operation of the connecting unit shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a front view of a resistance generator arranged on a gyro-wheel of the exercise apparatus according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of an adapting device of a controlling unit of the exercise apparatus according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 6(a) and 6(b) are cross-sectional views schematically showing the operation of the adapting device shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a top view showing the operation of a handle with the adapting device according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a side view of an exercise apparatus according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 9 is a side view of an exercise apparatus according to a third preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a front view of the exercise apparatus according to the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 11 is a front view schematically showing the bicycle frame swinging to the first zone;

FIG. 12 is a front view schematically showing the bicycle frame swinging to the second zone;

FIG. 13 is a local view schematically showing the structure around the connecting unit and adapting unit;

FIGS. 14-16 are local front views schematically showing different embodiments of the supporter of the present invention; and

FIG. 17 is a side view of the exercise apparatus according to a forth preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention will now be described more specifically with reference to the following embodiments. It is to be noted that the following descriptions of preferred embodiments of this invention are presented herein for purposes of illustration and description only; it is not intended to be exhaustive or to be limited to the precise form disclosed.

Please refer to FIG. 1, which shows a perspective view of an exercise apparatus according to a first preferred embodiment of the present invention. The exercise apparatus includes a bicycle frame 10 whose shape is not limited to the disclosed one. The bicycle frame 10 includes a supporting member 11 mounted on a base 13 that is placed on a base surface G. Generally speaking, the surface G is a ground or a floor. On the bicycle frame 10, a seat 15 is mounted thereon for seating an exerciser, and a controlling unit 30 is pivotally mounted on a first terminal of the bicycle frame 10, so that the exerciser can balance himself therethrough. Furthermore, because the bicycle frame 10 and the base 13 are pivotally mounted to each other, the present invention naturally has a swinging axis SA formed and passing through the respective positions of the pivotal-mounting of the bicycle frame 10 and the base 13. Therefore, in the embodiment of FIG. 1, the swinging axis SA passes through the connecting unit 50, which pivotally connects the bicycle frame 10 with the base 13.

Furthermore, in FIG. 1, the controlling unit 30 is pivotally mounted on the bicycle frame 10 through a neck 12 thereof. The controlling unit 30 includes a linking rod 31 extended from one end of the neck 12 and a handle 20 extended from the other end thereof. The linking rod 31 further has a adapting unit 301 at a end thereof away from the neck 12. And the adapting unit 301 further has a roller 35 contacting the surface G. Hence, the user can control the position of the adapting unit 30 respecting the surface G through turning the handle 20. Because of the pivotal-mounting between the controlling unit 30 and the neck 12 of the bicycle frame 10, the controlling unit 30 forms a rotating axis RA pointing to the surface G. While the bicycle frame 10 swings to a certain direction thereof, the user operates the controlling unit 30 to move the adapting unit 301 to the certain direction. Therefore, the adapting unit 30 passes the reaction receiving from the surface G to push the bicycle frame 10 back. Thus, it is very clear that by using the controlling unit 30, the present invention can easily simulate a real bicycle riding feeling for the user.

Please refer to FIG. 1, the bicycle frame 10 also pivotally mounts a gyro-wheel 43 driven by a driving unit 40 thereon. Depending on the physics theory, when the gyro-wheel 43 is rotating, it creates inertia which can resist interference from outside and maintains the posture of the bicycle frame 10.

The driving unit 40 includes a driving wheel 41 connecting to a driven wheel 42 by a transmittal 44. The driven wheel 42 is fixed on the gyro-wheel 43, and thus the gyro-wheel 43 is rotated synchronously with the driven wheel 42. A pair of pedals 45 are connected to the driving wheel 41. In this embodiment, the driving wheel 41 and the driven wheel 42 would be one of a gear and a pulley. The transmittal 44 would be one of a chain and a belt, depending on the driving wheel 41 and the driven wheel 42.

The weight of the gyro-wheel 43 also affects its inertia, so the larger the weight is, the larger the inertia will be. Therefore, the exercise apparatus of the present invention may include more than one gyratory wheel 43 and the respective diameters and weights thereof are different. The user can exchange the gyro-wheel 43 with a proper weight according actual needs. Besides, a retainer 60 is provided on the supporting member 11 for holding the linking rod 31, so as to prevent the linking rod 31 from bouncing up and down while swinging.

The supporting member 11 and the base 13 are connected to each other through a connecting unit 50, which is described in detail with reference to FIG. 2. Please refer to FIG. 2, which shows an exploded view of a connecting unit 50 of the exercise apparatus according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention. The connecting unit 50 includes a connecting rod 51 and a set of connecting seats 52. The connecting rod 51 has a positioning hole 511 therethrough. One end of the connecting rod 51 is connected to the supporting member 11, and the other end thereof is inserted between the seats 52 fixed on the base 13 and is pivotally fixed therebetween through a pivot S, so that the connecting rod 51 is capable of swinging about the pivot S. A first pivotal hole 512 is disposed on the connecting rod 51 and a second pivotal hole 523 is disposed on the seats 52, and thus the pivot S penetrates both of the first and second pivotal holes and the bicycle frame 10 (shown in FIG. 1) can swing according to the pivot S. Moreover, there are a central hole 521 and plural holes 522 arranged at each side of the central hole 521 on the pair of the seats 52.

Please refer to FIGS. 3(a) and 3(b), which are front views schematically showing the operation of the connecting unit shown in FIG. 2. As shown in FIG. 3(a), if two stop levers 54 are respectively inserted into the holes 522 a which are configured adjacent to the central hole 521, the connecting rod 51 is able to be adjusted to a position vertical to the base surface G and fixed at this position by inserting a positioning member 53 through the positioning hole 511 and the central holes 521.

As shown in FIG. 3(b), while the two stop levers 54 are respectively inserted into the holes 522 b on the pivotal seats 52, the swing of the connecting rod 51 is thus limited. In other words, the connecting rod 51 would only swing in the range defined by the two stop levers 54 respectively inserted in the holes 522 b. Therefore, the connecting unit 50 functions as a swinging angle controlling element and adjusts the swinging angle of the bicycle frame 10 as desired. It is worthy to note that the number of the connecting unit 50 is variable, which depends on an actual design therefor.

Through the connecting unit 50, it is easy to adjust the bicycle frame 10 to fix at a position which is vertical to the base surface G, and alternatively, to swing within a limited angle. Besides, one should notice that the connecting unit 50 shown in FIGS. 2, 3(a) and 3(b) is only illustrated for the preferred embodiments of the present invention. The connecting unit 50 may also include a connecting rod 51 and a connecting seat 52, wherein the connecting rod 51 is able to be pivoted to the pivotal seat 52 with other components.

Please refer to FIG. 4, which shows a front view of a resistance generator arranged on a gyro-wheel of the exercise apparatus according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention. The resistance generator 80 is arranged on the gyro-wheel 43 so as to supply different resistance for riding. For example, the resistance is generated by the resistance generator 80 which is screwed to prop up a friction member 81. While the resistance generator 80 is screwed toward the friction member 81, the gyro-wheel 43 is pressed thereby, so that the resistance is increased.

Please refer to FIG. 5, which shows an exploded view of an adapting device of a controlling unit of the exercise apparatus according to the first preferred embodiment of the present invention. The adapting device 301 has a first big mounting bracket 32 and a pair of opposite elongated holes 33. A second big mounting bracket 34 is inserted into the first big mounting bracket 32 and a roller 35 is disposed therein. A positioning member 36 is inserted into the pair of opposite elongated holes 33 of the first big mounting bracket 32, and thus the second big mounting bracket 34 and the roller 35 are assembled together. An elastic member 37 is disposed between the first big mounting bracket 32 and the second big mounting bracket 34 so as to absorb the vibration while the exercise apparatus is operated.

In this embodiment, the roller 35 is a rotatable member which contacts the base surface G, and the contact point thereof with respect to the base surface G is regarded as a contacting point. Therefore, the reaction from the surface G affects the roller 35 first, and is then transmitted through the first and second brackets 32 and 34. At last, the reaction is transmitted to the linking rod 31 to support the bicycle frame (shown in FIG. 1). In other embodiments, however, the base surface G further includes the ground or other surfaces.

Please refer to FIGS. 6(a) and 6(b), which are cross-sectional views schematically showing the operation of the adapting device shown in FIG. 5. If the base surface G is uneven, the elastic member 37 would absorb the vibration resulting from the roller 35 which moves up and down in response to the unevenness of the base surface G, so as to provide the controlling unit 30 with a stable condition for controlling as shown in FIG. 6(b).

Please refer to FIG. 7, which is a top view showing the operation of a controlling unit with the adapting device according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention. The bicycle frame 10 is to be fixed at a position which is vertical to the base surface G. The exercise apparatus would generate an inertia while the exerciser pedaling the pedals 45. In order to keep the bicycle frame 10 at a balance, the exerciser could hold the handle 20 to make the controlling unit 30 turn left and right, so that the adapting device 301 would correspondly swing on the base surface G. In FIG. 7, the exercise apparatus has a swinging axis SA dividing the exercise apparatus into a first zone Z01 and a second zone Z02. When the bicycle frame 10 swings to the first zone Z01 in a first direction D01, the user turns the handle 20 toward the first zone Z01 to prevent the bicycle frame 10 from turnover just like an ordinary bicycle user does. Hence, when the handle 20 is turned toward the first zone Z01, the adapting unit 301 is moved to the first position P01 in the first zone Z01. And then the surface G produces a reaction to sustain the adapting unit 301 and further sustain the bicycle frame 10 to avoid turnover. In the same reason, when the bicycle frame 10 swings to the second zone Z02 in a second direction D02, the user turns the handle 20 toward the second zone Z02 to prevent the bicycle frame 10 from turnover just like an ordinary bicycle user does. Thus, when the handle 20 is turned toward the second zone Z02, the adapting unit 301 is moved to the second position P02 in the second zone Z02. And then the surface G produces a reaction to sustain the adapting unit 301 and further sustain the bicycle frame 10 to avoid turnover. Of course, the reaction from the surface G can push the bicycle frame 10 back to the middle through the adapting unit 301, linking rod 31 and the controlling unit 30 (shown in FIG. 1).

Please refer to FIG. 7. Furthermore, while the adapting unit 301 locates just in the middle between the first zone Z01 and the second zone Z02, the bicycle frame 10 is possible to swing to each zone, just like an ordinary bicycle. However, by using the exercise apparatus of the present invention, the user can simulate the real bicycle riding feeling without the need of expansive area as an ordinary bicycle rider. Through the present invention, the user uses only a limited space for disposition and can exercise with simulating bicycle riding.

Please refer to FIG. 8, which shows a side view of an exercise apparatus according to a second preferred embodiment of the present invention. The controlling unit 30 includes a straight frame 38 whose first end is connected to the handle 20, and the second end thereof is folded into an arcuate rod 39 which is further connected to one end of the extending rod 31′ with a joint 313. The arcuate rod 39 and the extending rod 31′ respectively have a locking protrusion 391 and 311, and an elastic member 37A is held therebetween. When the controlling unit 30 is swung, the angle between the arcuate rod 39 and the cross rod 31 is adjusted by the joint 313 in response to the absorbing of the elastic member 37A. The roller 35 is pivotally disposed in the first big mounting bracket 32 at the other end of the cross rod 31. It is worthy to note that the positioning member 36 is inserted into the holes 33 (shown in FIG. 5) on each side of the first big mounting bracket 32. The elastic member 37A is used to make the roller 35 flexibly move above the base surface G and assure the roller 35 always contacting the surface G by the pushing from the elastic member 37A.

While the bicycle frame 10 swings, the swinging unit 30 would swing left and right and the roller 35 contacting the base surface G is moved corresponding, so as to supply a supporting force for the bicycle frame 10. However, the swinging of the bicycle frame 10 would be slightly affected by an uneven base surface G or an excessive slant of the bicycle frame 10 which leads to an adverse manner, and therefore, one inventive design in this embodiment exists in that the controlling unit 30 is provided with the elastic member 37A. As a result, the controlling unit 30 is capable of providing a supporting effect for balancing and stabilizing the bicycle frame 10 as well as the exerciser.

Please refer to FIG. 9, which shows a side view of an exercise apparatus according to a third preferred embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the controlling unit 30 includes a first portion 30 a rotating therethrough and a second portion 30 b kept in front of the gyro-wheel 43. Combining the absorbing effect of the elastic element 37A and the firmer controlling unit 30, it should be much easier to balanceably keep the bicycle frame 10 on the base surface G by using the handle 20.

As the above-mentioned, the weight of the gyratory wheel would result in an inertia when the driving unit is rotated and the controlling unit is suitably rotated/turned, so as to dynamically balance the bicycle frame and provide the exerciser with a balance when the exerciser is exercising with the exercise apparatus. Furthermore, the provided exercise apparatus also makes the exercise simulation more real and interesting. The bicycle frame swings left and right in a predetermined range whose swinging angle is easily adjustable and thus the riding and the quality of riding simulation are well improved. In addition, the connecting unit and the bicycle frame are able to be adjusted to stand vertically or swing laterally, and thus the swinging angle of the bicycle frame is easily controlled by the exerciser as needed.

Please refer to FIG. 10, which is a front view of the exercise apparatus according to the embodiment of FIG. 1. FIG. 10 shows that the bicycle frame 10 is disposed on the surface G which can be a ground or a floor in a room. The bicycle frame 10 has a right side RS and a left side LS, and thus the first zone Z01 begins from the right side to the surface G and the second zone Z02 begins from the left side LS to the surface G. When the bicycle frame 10 keeps in balance, the bicycle frame 10 stays in the middle position and swings to neither the first zone Z01 nor the second zone Z02. Furthermore, the exercise apparatus has a rail 14 disposed between the surface G and the roller 35, and contacted by both of them. The rail 14 provides the roller 35 a smooth rolling surface to avoid any unevenness influencing the rotation of the roller 35. Because the bicycle frame 10 stays in balance, it is unnecessary for the user to turn the controlling unit 30 to keep the exercise apparatus in balance. Therefore, the handle 20 points forward to make the adapting unit 301 located just right in front of the connecting unit 50 and linearly disposed with the swinging axis SA of the bicycle frame 10 at this instance (shown in FIG. 7). The portions behind the neck 12 and the controlling unit 30 in FIG. 10 are shown in dotted lines.

Please refer to FIG. 11. FIG. 11 is a front view schematically showing the bicycle frame swinging to the first zone. Although the gyro-wheel 43 can keep balance in theory, the bicycle frame 10 is still affected by external forces. Therefore, for example, when the bicycle frame 10 swings to the first zone Z01, the user can turn the handle 20 to the right side RS so as to move the adapting unit 301 to the first zone Z01 through the linking rod 31, and the roller 35 is moved to the first zone Z01 accordingly. Because of the swinging of the bicycle frame 10, a weight is added to the rail 14 by the roller 35. Accordingly, the rail 14 produces a reacting force (reaction) RF to the roller 35 for sustaining. The reacting force RF is further transmitted to the controlling unit 30 through the linking rod 31, and then arrives the neck 12 of the bicycle frame 10. Thus, it is clear that the reacting force RF holds the bicycle frame 10 to prevent it from swinging continuously and provides an ordinary bicycle riding feeling to the user of the exercise apparatus.

Please refer to FIG. 12. FIG. 12 is a front view schematically showing the bicycle frame swinging to the second zone. Although the gyro-wheel 43 can keep balance in theory, the bicycle frame 10 is still affected by external forces. Therefore, for example, when the bicycle frame 10 swings to the second zone Z02, the user can turn the handle 20 to the left side LS so as to move the adapting unit 301 to the second zone Z02 through the linking rod 31, and the roller 35 is moved to the second zone Z02 accordingly. Because of the swinging of the bicycle frame 10, a weight is added to the rail 14 by the roller 35. Hence, the rail 14 produces a reacting force (reaction) RF to the roller 35 for sustaining. The reacting force RF is further transmitted to the controlling unit 30 through the linking rod 31, and then arrives the neck 12 of the bicycle frame 10. Thus, it is clear that the reacting force RF holds the bicycle frame 10 to prevent it from swinging continuously and provides an ordinary bicycle riding feeling to the user of the exercise apparatus.

In both of FIGS. 11 and 12, no matter the bicycle frame swings to either the first zone Z01 or the second zone Z02, the elastic member 37 (shown in FIGS. 5, 6(a) and 6 (b)) is compressed because the straight-line distance between the neck 12 and the roller 35 is shortened. Accordingly, the elastic element 37 has a potential energy to restore an original length coaxially with the swinging axis SA (shown in FIG. 7). Therefore, the elastic element 37 pushes the first big mounting bracket 32 and thus the controlling unit 30 through the linking rod 31. And then the neck 12 is pushed by the controlling unit 30, thereby making the bicycle frame 10 back to the middle position as shown in FIG. 10. Therefore, according to the above descriptions, the controlling unit 30 not only prevents the bicycle frame 10 from swinging continuously, but also retrieves it to the middle position as shown in FIG. 10. Hence, through the present invention, the user feels just like riding an ordinary bicycle.

Please refer to FIG. 13. FIG. 13 is a local view schematically showing the structure around the connecting unit and adapting unit. For stopping the bicycle frame 10 from swinging beyond a specific extent, a supporter 61 is disposed between the bicycle frame 10 and the base 13. Furthermore, the supporter 61 has a first bar 62a fixed to the bicycle frame 10 at the first side thereof. While the bicycle frame 10 swings to the first side, the first bar 62a touches the base 13 to stop the bicycle frame 10 from swinging beyond the specific extent. Furthermore, just under the bar 62a, a first pad 64′ is disposed on the base 13 for absorbing the shock resulting from the bar 62a. The bicycle frame 10 is still pivotally mounted to the base 13 through the connecting unit 50, and the gyro-wheel 43 is rotatably mounted on the bicycle frame 10 and driven by the transmittal 44. The controlling unit 30 includes a linking rod 31 having an adapting unit 301 at the end thereof. In addition, a rail 14 is disposed on the base 13, and a roller 35 is placed on the rail 14 for smoothly rolling thereon.

Please refer to FIGS. 14, 15 and 16. FIGS. 14-16 are local front views schematically showing different embodiments of the supporter of the present invention. In FIG. 14, the connecting unit 50 has a connecting rod 51 extended from the bicycle frame 10 and a connecting seat 52 formed on the base 13. A pivot S connects the connecting rod 51 with the connecting seat 52, thereby creating a swinging axis SA (shown in FIG. 7). Furthermore, a first supporting arm 61 a and a second supporting arm 62 a are respectively fixed at the right side RS and the left side LS of the bicycle frame 10. Therefore, when the bicycle frame 10 swings to either the right side RS or the left side LS, the first supporting arm 61 a or the second supporting arm 62 a will touch the base 13 to stop the bicycle frame 10 from swinging beyond the specific extent. Therefore, the distance between the arms (61 a, 62 a) and the base 13 decides the swinging angle of the bicycle frame 10. Thus, for a better operation, each of the first supporting arm 61 a and the second supporting arm 62 a is equipped with an adjuster 60 having a pad 64 and a screw 63, where the pad 64 is movable up and down by the rotation of the screw 63. When the pad 64 is moved up, the gap between it and the base 13 gets larger, so the bicycle frame 10 (shown in FIGS. 1, 10 and 11) is able to swing at a bigger angle. On the contrary, when the pad 64 is moved down, the gap between it and the base 13 gets smaller, so the bicycle frame 10 (shown in FIGS. 1, 10 and 11) is able to swing at a smaller angle. Furthermore, while both of the pads 64 contact the base 13, the bicycle frame 10 (shown in FIGS. 1, 10 and 11) is unable to swing. Besides, for a better shock-absorbing effect, the pads 64 are made of an elastic material or a spring.

In FIG. 15, the connecting unit 50 has a connecting rod 51 extended from the bicycle frame 10 and a connecting seat 52 formed on the base 13. A pivot S connects the connecting rod 51 with the connecting seat 52, thereby creating a swinging axis SA (shown in FIG. 7). Furthermore, a first supporter 61′ is disposed at the right side RS of the connecting rod 51, and a second supporter 62′ is disposed at the left side LF thereof. The first supporter 61′ further includes a first bar 61a fixed on the right side RS of the bicycle frame 10 and a first limiter 61b mounted on the base 13 and below the first bar 61a. The second supporter 62′ further includes a second bar 62a fixed on the left side LS of the bicycle frame 10 and a second limiter 62b mounted on the base 13 and below the second bar 62a. While the bicycle frame 10 swings to either the right side RS or the left side LS, a respective one of the first bar 61a and the second bar 62a is stopped by one of the first limiter 61b and the second limiter 62b to prevent the bicycle frame 10 from turnover. Each of the first and second limiters 61b and 62b has a pad 64 which is disposed on a screw 63 mounted on the base 13. The pad 64 is movable up and down by the rotation of the screw 63. When the pad 64 is moved up, the gap between it and the base 13 becomes smaller, so the bicycle frame 10 (shown in FIGS. 1, 10 and 11) is able to swing at a smaller angle. On the contrary, when the pad 64 is moved down, the gap between it and the base 13 becomes larger, so the bicycle frame 10 (shown in FIGS. 1, 10 and 11) is able to swing at a larger angle. Furthermore, while both of the pads 64 contact the base 13, the bicycle frame 10 (shown in FIGS. 1, 10 and 11) is unable to swing. Moreover, for a better shock-absorbing effect, the pads 64 are made of an elastic material or a spring.

Please refer to FIG. 16. As shown in FIG. 16, a first elastic unit 65 a connects the bicycle frame 10 with the base 13 at the right side RS, so that while the bicycle frame 10 swings to the right side RS, the first elastic unit 65 a pushes the bicycle frame 10 back to a desired position which is normally the middle position as shown in FIG. 10. Furthermore, a second elastic unit 65 b connects the bicycle frame 10 with the base 13 at the left side LS, so that while the bicycle frame 10 swings to the left side LS, the second elastic unit 65 b pushes the bicycle frame 10 back to a desired position which is normally the middle position as shown in FIG. 10. Therefore, when the bicycle frame 10 swings to one side, one of the elastic units 65 a and 65 b pushes it back and the other thereof pulls it back. Through the first and second elastic units 65 a and 65 b), the bicycle frame 10 is prevented from swinging beyond a specific extent.

Please refer to FIG. 17, which is a side view of the exercise apparatus according to a forth preferred embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 17, a driven wheel 41 is pivotally mounted on the bicycle frame 10 and a pedal 45 is fixed to the driven wheel 41. A gyro-wheel 43 is pivotally mounted on the bicycle frame 10 and driven by the driven wheel 41 through the transmittal 44. A controlling unit 30 is pivotally jointed on the bicycle frame 10 through a neck 12 thereof. The controlling unit 30 forms a rotating axis RA pointing to the surface G and has a linking rod 31 on which a roller 35 is mounted. A handle 20 is further fixed on the controlling unit 30 opposite to the roller 35 thereof. Hence, the user is able to rotate the handle 20 to move the roller 35 in curve above the surface G. A rail 14 is disposed between the roller 35 and the surface G for providing a smooth rotation for the roller 35 thereon. The bicycle frame 10 is pivotally mounted on the base 13 through a stand 16. The stand 16 forms a second swinging axis SA′ above the shaft 43′ of the gyro-wheel 43. In comparison, the swinging axis SA of FIG. 1 is below the gyro-wheel 43. Although the swinging axis SA of FIG. 1 is near the surface G and provides a swinging feeling like an ordinary bicycle, the swinging axis SA for the exerciser is a little bit unstable. But in FIG. 17, the stand 16 raises the swinging axis to the second swinging axis SA′. The bicycle frame 10 is more stable compared to that in FIG. 1, because the mass center integrates the bicycle frame 10 with the gyro-wheel 43, and the user is closer to the second swinging axis SA′. Besides, a seat 15 is fixed on the bicycle frame 10 for the exerciser to sit thereon and pedal the pedal 45.

In conclusion, through either of the embodiments described above, the user feels just like riding an ordinary bicycle. Especially, the controlling unit of the present invention provides a balance controlling feeling which is almost the same as an ordinary bicycle. Therefore, the present invention provides an improved exercise apparatus, making the user feel like riding a real bicycle in a limited space. Furthermore, the supporters of the present invention prevent the bicycle frame from swinging beyond a specific extent, and the rail of the present invention provides a smooth rotation for the roller moved thereon.

While the invention has been described in terms of what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the invention needs not be limited to the disclosed embodiments. On the contrary, it is intended to cover various modifications and similar arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims which are to be accorded with the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and similar structures.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7927258Aug 17, 2007Apr 19, 2011Real Ryder, LLCBicycling exercise apparatus
US8062192 *May 14, 2010Nov 22, 2011Shawn ArsteinPortable stationary bicycle trainer
US8092352Mar 3, 2008Jan 10, 2012Realryder, LlcBicycling exercise apparatus with multiple element load dispersion
US8376915Apr 23, 2008Feb 19, 2013Liqun HuExercise bicycle
US20100099540 *Nov 30, 2007Apr 22, 2010Mary Ann HimmerPhysical therapy and exercise system
US20130072356 *Sep 14, 2012Mar 21, 2013C.O.R.E. Tec Inc.Stationary exercise bicycle
EP2027892A1 *Aug 20, 2007Feb 25, 2009Wingroup, S. Coop.Stationary pedalling apparatus convertible into seat
WO2008131679A1 *Apr 23, 2008Nov 6, 2008Liqun HuExercise bicycle
WO2009149528A1 *Jun 10, 2009Dec 17, 2009Cassiano PinzonStationary articulated bicycle
WO2009154659A2 *Feb 26, 2009Dec 23, 2009Realryder, LlcBicycling exercise apparatus with multiple element load dispersion
WO2012127421A1 *Mar 21, 2012Sep 27, 2012Fabio PedriniBicycle simulator for static or pseudo-static use
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/57
International ClassificationA63B22/06
Cooperative ClassificationA63B22/0605, A63B2022/0641, A63B21/225, A63B21/015, A63B26/003
European ClassificationA63B21/22F, A63B21/015, A63B22/08, A63B26/00B