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Publication numberUS3338587 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 29, 1967
Filing dateOct 24, 1965
Priority dateOct 24, 1965
Publication numberUS 3338587 A, US 3338587A, US-A-3338587, US3338587 A, US3338587A
InventorsPhilip K Wiley
Original AssigneePhilip K Wiley
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tension adjustable releasable ski binding and method
US 3338587 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

P. K. WILEY Aug. 29, 1967 TENSION ADJUSTABLE RELEASABLE SKI BINDING AND METHOD Filed Oct. 24, 1965 INVENTOR PHILIP K. WILEY jkiawzi United States Patent 3,338,587 TENSION ADJUSTABLE RELEASABLE SKI BINDING AND METHOD Philip K. Wiley, 326 W. 7th St., Traverse City, Mich. 49684 Filed Oct. 24, 1965, Ser. No. 504,624 10 Claims. (Cl. 280-1135) The present invention relates to a novel releasable ski binding wherein a toe-plate and a heel-plate are permanently secured to each of the skiers boots, and comprise a portion of the break-away mechanism. A forward and rear mount, preferably of the same or similar design, cooperate respectively with the toe and heel-plates of each boot, in a mutually interacting fashion, to apply a predetermined tension for retaining the skier to the ski for norrnal skiing conditions, but to effect ready release under all abnormal conditions, at a pressure to avoid bone fractures.

Releasable ski bindings have long been known, but none has heretofore provided a universal releasable mounting structure in which any lateral, medial, torsional, rotational, forward, backward, or upward force, applied to the boot, above a predetermined minimum will cause release, as enabled by the present invention.

The foregoing primary object of the invention is achieved through a ball bearing to plate contact, established between the respective mounts and the heel and toe-plates. Each plate is notched to receive its associated ball bearing, and release is effected by compressional forces applied to the spring-biased ball bearings to force thejsame away from one, or the other, or both plates, depending upon the type fall.

Since extreme pressures or forces are encountered even in normal skiing, the ball bearings and associated springs are of large size, capable of maintaining the boot to the ski attachment free of play for all normal skiing maneuvers. These large balls and their associated springs also absorb small sharp shocks (chatter in the skiing vernacular) which are frequently encountered during skiing. Such chatter might cause an unwanted release with its associated danger to the skier if smaller balls and springs were used.

It has been shown that a 92 pound force, directed either laterally or medially, at a point one inch behind the boot toe, will fracture the leg of the average 150 pound advanced intermediate skier. It has also been shown that any skiing maneuver in any snow can be performed if the binding is set to release at 58 pound pressure at a point one inch behind the toe. This invention can be readily set to release at any desired level, thereby affording a varying amount of safety as desired by the individual skier. Hence, the invention incorporates adjustability for the spring tensioning to accommodate various sized skiers,

-as well as boot sizes and further adjustability is provided to eliminate play between the boot and the ski.

It is commonly known among skiers that the ease of skiing in various snow conditions (e.g. powder, pack or ice) varies with the longitudinal relationship of the boot toe with the longitudinal center of the ski. This invention .allows the skier to make this adjustment as he deems necessary. This is an added advantage of this invention.

An advantage of the invention is a solid play free heel which, nevertheless, releases quickly in the dangerous forward fall. This type of fall is commonly seen when a' ski tip is inadvertently caught or buried in the snow. This is universally recognized as one of the most dangerous situations encountered by the skier. With this invention, the heel, in a forward fall, releases at a significantly less upward force than the upward force required, to release the heel during normal skiing. During the forward fall the toe-plate compresses the toe ball bearing spring and the toe plate becomes jammed up against the toe release frame. This small forward motion of the boot, relative to the ski, places the heel boot plate in such a position relative to the heel ball bearing that much easier heel release is thereby obtained.

An advantage of the invention resides in the ready entry into or exit from the ski binding by the skier without resort to levers, straps or other appliances. In this respect, the bottom of the heel and toe-plates are preferably fiat in order that the weight of the skier, when exerted downwardly on either ball bearing, will cause the same to retract against its spring tension sufficiently to enable the heel or toe-plate to pass to the underside of the ball bearing and receive the same in the'associated locking notch. Thus, during normal skiing the forward and rearward ball bearings protrude into the notches and are received rather snugly thereby to fix the skiers position relative to the ski.

At the conclusion of the skiing period, the skier may release himself from the skis by sharply exerting an upward pressure on the toe.

Considering now more specifically the structure and preferred characteristics and dimensioning thereof, it should be pointed out that the heel plate is referably biased flush against the rear mount, but that a spacing of the order of inch to inch is purposely established between the notched upright of the forward toe-plate and the forward mount. This dimension is given for one-inch ball bearings and a inch die spring, approximately 1 /2 inches in length, which when compressed, will exert 50 to 60 pounds pressure (measured after /4' inch spring deflection) on the forward ball bearing, in the direction of the skier. It is understood that the binding may be adjusted so that it will function with the heel-plate in a non-flush position in relationship with the heel frame, although the preferred position is flush.

The preferred tension applied to the rear ball bearing 'is less than that applied to the forward ball bearing because the rear ball bearing must be deflected further than the front ball bearing to effect release. Actually, the toe spring opposes the heel-plate against the front surface of the heel release frame. Only when a force starts to move the heel-plate in relation to the heel ball bearing does the heel spring begin to resist.

Preferably, the tension of the rear ball bearingonly moderately approaches that of the forward ball "bearing for normal skiing, being of the order of 10 to 20 pounds less (when measured at inch deflection).

Vertical adjustment for the mounts is provided' primarily for play elimination. Adjustment downwardly of the mount relative to the ski forces the ball bean'ngdownwardly, thereby applying pressure to its associated notch to eliminate play. Thisis true because each ball bearing is restrained from passing out of its associated 'niount by a vertical riser'having an opening less than the diameter of the ball. In a typical mount the ball bearing protrudes of the order of of an inch for cooperating with plate uprisers of the order of 4; inch in thickness. If V-notched plates are employed, it can be readily appreciatedjtliat downward pressure is exerted on these'plates by the respective ball bearings through contact with'the notches, upon proper adjustment, thereby eliminating play in any direction.

In the example presented, for purposes of illustration but not limitation, the binding may be set where an up ward pressure at the heel-plate of the order of pounds is required to effect heel release, wherein a 7 inch gap is provided at the forward mount. If, as in a forward fall, this gap is closed, the heel will now release with an upward pressure of the order of 35 pounds. The marked safety of this heel in forward fall is thus demonstrated. And yet, the high spring pressures and retaining ability of this type heel in normal skiing may thus be appreciated and enjoyed with safety.

In the preferred design, a A inch or 78 inch bolt is employed to transmit the spring pressure to the ball bearing. This is achieved by guiding the bolt, equipped with a forward nut or cup, against the center area of the unexposed end of the ball bearing and, in turn, biasing the nut or cup, via a large spring, against the ball bearing, thereby urging it towards its position of maximum projection. Adjustment of the spacing between the spring and the ball bearing, or the compression of the spring, may be made by movement of the spring retaining structure, which may also be a nut and washer, along the bolt.

Further adjustment is provided to accommodate various size boots, if desired. Such adjustment is made in the mount longitudinally of the ski. The anchoring means for the mount need not be moved, but the spring and ball bearing carrying fixture is moved relative to its anchoring means to further open or further close the spacing between the forward and rear mounts. Either or both mounts may be equipped for such adjustments, thereby locating the boot in the proper position relative to the ski.

In addition, it should be pointed out that this structure is adaptable to conventional or special long thong attach ments for stiffening the boot, and suitable to safety cords for preventing separated skis from running wild down the slope.

With the foregoing in mind, it is among the objects of this invention to provide a releasable ski binding which relies solely on spring tensioning for maintaining the boot fixed to the ski during normal skiing.

It is a further object of the invention to provide such a ski binding incorporating ball bearing or similar type surface to notched'or similar concave surfaced plate connections.

Another object of the invention is to provide mounting structure for the ball bearings capable of vertical and longitudinal adjustment relative to the ski.

A still further object of the invention is the provision of a reliable releasable ski binding, enabling universal release, prior to fracture, regardless of the type force applied to the skiers legs and,

A further object of the invention is to provide such a releasable ski binding which permits the skier automatically to enter or exit from the skis without resort to levers, buckles or straps, or other manually manipulated appliances.

Another object is the provision of a method of release of the toe at will and a method of heel release in a forward fall.

The invention will be better understood from a reading of the following detailed description thereof when taken in conjunction with the drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a ski equipped with the subject ski binding;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the ski binding with boot outlined in retaining position;

FIG. 3 shows the binding of FIG. 2 in side elevation;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view, in front elevation, of the ball set in the notched upriser, and

FIG. 5 shows an alternative construction for the heelplate.

In FIG. 1 a ski 11 is shown equipped with a forward mount 13 and a rearward mount 15, in spaced apart positions therealong. The forward plate 17 is depicted adjacent the forward mount 13 and the rearward plate 19 is shown adjacent the rear mount 15. Of course, it will be understood that the plates are affixed to the boot and the showing of FIG. 1 is simply illustrated for clarity of location.

Considering now FIGS. 2 and 3, forward and rear mounts 13 and 15 preferably comprise the same type of structure. Thus, like parts will be designated with the same numerals, being primed for the forward mount.

A base plate 21, of steel or other suitable material,

4 having a thickness of for example inch, is affixed to the ski by a plurality of screws 23. The plates 21 and 21' carry a plurality of uprising flat-head type bolts or threaded studs 25. It has been found that four inch bolts, spaced apart in longitudinal pairs, will sufiice for purposes of this invention.

Release frames 27 and 27' each have a pair of spaced apart slots 29 and 31 adapted to receive the respective pairs of upriser bolts 25 and 25. An upper set of nuts 33 and a lower set of nuts 35 are provided for the bolts 25, to adjust the vertical spacing of the release frame 27 above the base plate 21. They also permit longitudinal adjustment along the slots 29 and 31 to determine the spacing between the forward mount 13 and the rearward mount 15, thereby accommodating different boot sizes. Nuts 33 and 35 are especially constructed to prevent accidental loosening and slipping of release frame 27 during skiing.

Release frame 27 includes a forward upriser 41, provided with a hole 43, of a diameter insuflicient to pass the round ball or ball bearing 45, but to permit the latter to project substantially halfway therethrough.

The release frame 27 also carries a stud 47, spaced rearwardly of the upriser plate 41, and apertured to accommodate a quarter-inch bolt 49. The stud 47 may be formed by punching or cutting the same from release frame 27 on three edges and bending it at a right angle thereto. Alternatively, stud 47 may comprise an upriser portion on the rear of release frame 27 or a plate welded thereto. But, the preferred manufacturing embodiment is depicted.

A A inch locknut 51 is threaded onto the bolt 49, between upriser 41 and stud 47, to serve as the adjustment for the tension of spring 55, which spring also impinges against stud 47.

The forward end of bolt 49 carries one or more A inch nuts 59 adapted to bear against the rearward center area of the ball 45. It will be appreciated that a cup-shaped nut or integral attached cup may be employed in lieu of nut 59. But it has been found that the nut 59, when threaded only part way onto bolt 49, provides a suitable cup-like contact with ball 45.

The forward toe-plate 17 and the rearward heel-plate 19 are also constructed similarly. Plate 19 includes a base portion 61 and an upriser 63, simply constructed through forming a right angle in heel-plate 19. The upriser 63 is notched, preferably in the form of a V configuration 65 (FIG. 4) which accommodates the projected end of the ball 45, at evenly disposed tangential contact points, also as best seen in FIG. 4.

While a single or unitary plate may suffice for the toe and heel-plates 17 and 18, it has been found that such a plate is very hindersome to walking and since the toe and heel-plates must be permanently aflixed to the boot, as by flush screws (not shown), the illustrated embodiment considerably improves over the single plate type attachment.

The normal preferred skiing position adjustment of the ski binding to the individual boot size and for safe release for the individual weight is made as follows. The spacing between the forward mount 13 and the rearward mount 15 is slightly larger than the spacing between the outer extremities of the toe and heel-plates 17 and 19. The normal skiing position for the upriser 63 of the heelplate 19 is flush against the upriser 41 of rear mount 15, whereas the preferred spacing between the forward upriser 63' of toe-plate 17 is about of an inch away from upriser 41' of forward mount 13.

This spacing enables the proper setting of the Vertical heights of forward mount 13 and rearward mount 15, as well as the proper tensioning of springs 55 and 55'. The vertical height positioning is established to eliminate all play, yet maintain projection of the balls 45 and 45' into the groove configurations 65 and 65'. The spring tensions are set to maintain the pressures heretofore given by Way of example.

For heavier skiers, these pressures are somewhat increased and for lighter skiers are somewhat decreased, but can be readily ascertained by the skier by feel, or by factory preset, or by detailed instructions released by the factory. A sharp upward thrust on the toe will release this binding if properly set. If release is difficult to accomplish, the binding is set too tightly. Other indicia include various types of hard movements by the skier in the binding, prior to skiing in attempts to break out of the binding from various directions. It is noted that sharp upward pressure on the toe is never seen during normal skiing. It is only during a backward uncontrolled fall that enough upward pressure is obtained at the toe to cause a release while skiing.

In FIG. 5, there is depicted an alternative structure for the heel plate 18 and rear mount 15. A double notched heel plate 118 is adapted to receive a pair of balls 145, 147 mounted, biased and retained in the same manner as heretofore described, the only difference being that rear mount 115 carries both balls 145 and 147 is alignment with recesses 165, 167.

It should be understood, that in all embodiments, the structure corresponding to heel-plate 118 merely need present one or more concave depressions to cooperate with one or more convex surfaces, as presented by balls 145 and 147; or vice versa surfaces.

While not illustrated, housings of plastics or other suitable materials may be provided to grip the base plates 21 and 21' for precluding the entering of snow which may pack as ice in the mechanism, under certain conditions. The plastic housings are not necessary, but are preferable when melting or freezing conditions are alternatively encountered.

While the invention has been illustrated and described as to its preferred embodiments, it should be understood that equivalent structures will occur to those skilled in the art based upon the principles herein disclosed; and, accordingly, it is intended that the scope of the invention be limited only by the appended claims wherein:

What is claimed is:

1. A releasable ski binding for retaining a boot to a ski during normal skiing and releasing the boot from the ski under abnormal conditions, comprising, in combination, concave surfaced receiving means afiixed to the boot and extending forwardly and rearwardly thereof; forward and rear convex surfaced means; separate mounting means for the forward and rear convex surfaced means affixed to the ski, in spaced apart positions, freely to accommodate the boot and receiving means; means biasing the rear convex surfaced means freely into and partly through its associated receiving means; means biasing the forward convex surfaced means into and against its associated receiving means; said biasing means for each convex surfaced means being adjustable as to tension; said separate mounting means for said forward and rear convex surfaced means, comprising adjustable means for both longitudinal and vertical direction adjustment relative to the ski to position said rear mounting means for said rear convex surfaced means in position to maintain at least a part of said concave surfaced rear receiving means flush against said rear mounting means for said rear convex surfaced means; said longitudinal and vertical adjustability means establishing a gap between said front concave surfaced receiving means and said forward mounting means for said forward convex surfaced means with said forward convex surfaced means maintained in contact with said forward concave surfaced receiving means.

2. A releasable ski binding for holding a boot to a ski during normal skiing and releasing the boot from the ski under adverse conditions to the skier, comprising, in combination, toe and heel notched reeciving means aflixed to each of the skiers boots and extending, respectively, forwardly and rearwardly thereof; forward and rear ball means; separate mounting means for the forward and rear ball means afiixed to each ski in spaced apart positions,

freely to accommodate each boot and receiving means; means biasing each ball means into its associated receiving means through projection of portions of the ball means beyond their mounting means; the dimensions of the rear receiving means notch exceeding the dimensions of the associated projected ball means to permit the rear receiving means to contact the rear mounting means; the spacing between the spaced apart separate mounting means exceeding the length of the boot and receiving means to leave a gap between the forward mounting means and toe receiving means with the forward ball means in pressure contact with the toe receiving means to provide the sole force maintaining the rear receiving means against the rear mounting means.

3. The binding of claim 2 wherein the toe and heel receiving means each comprise a base and substantially right angle upriser with the uprisers being notched in V- shaped concave receiving surfaces.

4. The binding of claim 2 wherein at least one of the mounting means comprises a base plate aflixed to the ski; a release frame for holding the ball means; and means adjustably spacing the release frame relative to the base plate.

5. The binding of claim 2 wherein the means biasing at least one of the ball means comprises a rod supported by the associated mounting means; a spring urging the rod against the ball means; and guiding and supporting means for the rod and ball means.

6. The binding of claim 2 wherein the forward mounting means and associated biasing means comprises a release frame having a substantially right angle upriser apertured smaller than the diameter of the ball means; and spring means urging the ball means into the aperture and against the upriser to project a portion of the ball means therethrough.

, 7. The binding of claim 3 wherein the right angle upriser of the heel receiving means is recessed at spaced apart positions; and wherein the rear ball means comprise a ball means for each recessed position and the biasing means comprises a spring for each ball means.

8. The binding of claim 7 wherein the rod comprises a threaded bolt; a concave receptacle carried by the bolt at one end to bear against the ball means; said guiding means comprising an apertured stud supported by the release frame in spaced apart relation with the ball means; said bolt extending through the aperture in the stud; a nut threaded on the bolt between the concave receptacle and the stud; and said spring interlooping the bolt between the nut and stud.

9. The binding of claim 6 wherein the spacing between the mounting means is adjusted until the forward ball means is maintained in a slightly unseated position relative to its upriser aperture by pressure exerted through the toe receiving means when the boot is in normal skiing attachment with the ski.

10. A releasable ski binding for holding a boot to a ski during normal skiing and releasing the boot from the ski under adverse conditions to the skier, comprising in combination, toe and heel notched receiving means affixed to each of the skiers boots and extending respectively forwardly and rearwardly thereof to present upriser portions thereof from the soles of the boots; each of said upriser portions being notched from its top; forward and rear ball means; separate mounting means for the forward and rear ball means adjustably fixed to each ski in spaced apart positions, freely to accommodate each boot and its upriser portions; each of said mounting means including uprisers opposed to the upriser portions of the boots; means biasing the forward ball means against the notch of the forward upriser portion and against the upriser itself to dispose the rear boot upriser portion flush against the rear mounting upriser; said notch in the rear upriser being sufficiently large to accommodate said rear ball means freely; and means biasing each ball means into the 7 8 aforesaid positions through projection of portions of the References Cited ball means beyond their respective uprisers of their mount- UNITED STATES PATENTS ing means whereby a gap is maintained between the forward mounting means upriser and the forward upriser 2,616,714 11/ 1952 Cubberley 28011.35 portion of the boot with the forward ball means applying 5- 2,793,869 5/ 1957 Braun 280 11.35

pressure to maintain said flush position of the rearward upriser portion against the rear upriser under normal BENJAMIN HERSH Pnm'ary Exammer' diti n J. H. BRANNEN, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2616714 *May 26, 1950Nov 4, 1952Mitchell H CubberleySafety ski binding
US2793869 *Mar 7, 1955May 28, 1957Braun EduardReleasable ski binder
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3504922 *Apr 9, 1968Apr 7, 1970Philip K WileyTension adjustable releasable ski bindings
US3630538 *Oct 17, 1969Dec 28, 1971Trans World Ski Equip IncSafety ski binding
US3687470 *Mar 18, 1970Aug 29, 1972Rolamite IncSki bindings
US3716248 *Jul 29, 1970Feb 13, 1973P WileyTension adjustable releasable ski binding and method
US3773344 *Oct 21, 1971Nov 20, 1973Rolamite IncSki bindings
US4046400 *May 12, 1976Sep 6, 1977Viletto Felix ABall ski binding
US6714817 *Aug 31, 2001Mar 30, 2004Medtronic Physio-Control Manufacturing Corp.Hard paddle for an external defibrillator
U.S. Classification280/623, D21/773
International ClassificationA63C9/086
Cooperative ClassificationA63C9/08564, A63C9/0841, A63C9/086, A63C9/0805, A63C9/0846, A63C9/005, A63C9/08535
European ClassificationA63C9/085C1, A63C9/084A, A63C9/084H, A63C9/085B, A63C9/086