US 3578800 A
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United States Patent 72] Inventor Paolo DiNepi Via Crocefisso 6, Milan, Italy [21 Appl. No. 765,894  Filed Oct. 8, 1968  Patented May 18, 1971  Priority Oct. 13, 1967 [3 3 Italy 815,374
 FOLDABLE BICYCLE-TYPE EXERCISING DEVICE 7 Claims, 4 Drawing Figs.  11.8. CI 272/73 [51 Int. Cl A63b2l/00, A63b 23/04  Field of Search 272/73  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,238,295 4/1941 Snyder 272/73 272/73 3,259,385 7/1966 Boren Assistant Examiner-Richard W. Diaz, J r. Att0rney-Kurt Kelman ABSTRACT: A foldable frame provided with a seat and a handlebar. The lower portion of the frame carries a step-up gear transmission having a pedal-operated drive shaft. The transmission drives a flywheel which is coaxial with the drive shaft and is equipped with a friction brake. A speedometer on the handlebar is operatively connected to the transmission. The foldable frame includes pairs of downwardly convergent frame members and leg members pivotally connected to the frame members, and a pair of transversely spaced straps straddling the frame and leg members. One leg member is rigidly secured to the straps at one end thereof, the other end portions of the straps are provided with longitudinal slots, a pivot V extends through the slots and connects the other leg member and one of the frame members to the straps, and a second pivot connects the other frame member to the straps.
- lFOLDAELlE BICYCLE-TYPE EXERCISING DEVICE This invention relates to new and useful improvements in exercising devices, and in particular the invention concerns itself with a bicycle-type device which is especially suitable for indoor use, as for example in homes, gymnasiums, and the like.
As such, the principal object of the invention is to provide a bicycle-type exercising device which has a foldable frame, capable of being quickly and easily-erected for use and also capable of being readily folded into a compact form, so that the device may be conveniently stored in a small space when it is not in use.
Another important object of the invention is to provide a bicycle-type exercising device having a seat and a handle bar and also having a pedal-operated step-up gear transmission driving a flywheel, the latter being compactly disposed coaxially with the pedal-operated shaft of the transmission. Also, the invention provides a friction brake for the flywheel so that its resistance to rotation may be varied, and a speedometer on the handlebar driven by the transmission. The foldable frame of the device is dependably rigid in its erected position; compact and easily portable when folded; and the device as a whole lends itself to convenient and economical manufacture.
With the foregoing more important objects and features in view and such other objects and features as may become apparent as this specification proceeds, the invention will be understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like characters of reference are used to designate like parts, and wherein:
FIG. I is a side elevational view of the exercising device of the invention in its erected position;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary sectional view taken in a transverse plane and showing details of the transmission; and
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side elevational view, taken from the right-hand side of FIG. 3.
Referring now to the accompanying drawings in detail, the bicycle-type exercising device of the invention comprises a foldable frame including a pair of downwardly convergent tubular frame members 1, 2, provided with slidably telescoped tubular extensions 4, 6, respectively. The extension 4 of the member 1 carries a handlebar 3, while the extension 6 of the member 2 carries a seat 5. By sliding the extensions in the respective frame members, the height of the handlebar and/or the seat may be adjusted to suit the user, and releasable locking means Ia, 2a are provided on the frame members I, 2 for locking the extensions 4, 6 in an adjusted position, the locking means being of any suitable conventional type. The lower end portion of the frame member 1 carries a pedaloperated transmission and flywheel assembly designated generally by the reference numeral 7, which will be hereinafter described.
The foldable frame also includes a pair of downwardly divergent leg members 8, 9 which may also be equipped with telescopic extensions l0, 11, respectively, for height adjustment purposes. Moreover, the frame includes a pair of transversely spaced straps 12 which straddle the opposite sides of the frame members 1, 2 and leg members 8, 9, as shown. The straps 12 are connected to the frame member 2 by a pivot 13 and the upper end portion of the leg member 9 is rigidly secured to the adjacent end of the straps.
The other end portions of the straps 12 are provided with longitudinal slots 14 to receive a pivot 15 which extends through the frame member I and also through apertured brackets 16 which are rigidly secured to the upper end portion of the leg member 8. The leg members 8, 9 have bevelled upper ends and when the device is in its erected position as shown in FIG. 1, these bevelled ends supportingly abut intermediate portions of the frame members 1, 2, whereby the erected frame is dependably rigid. The pivots 13, I15 may be in the form of screws provided with suitable nuts 13a, 150, so that upon tightening of these nuts, the frame is positively held in its erected form. In addition, the lower end portion of the FIG. 2 is a side elevational view thereof in its folded posiframe member 1 has rigidly secured thereto a transversely extending tubular sleeve 18 which will be further referred to in connection with the transmission assembly 7. This sleeve is supportingly abutted by the lower end of the frame member 2 under the weight of the occupant of the seat 5, thus further assisting in making the frame dependably rigid in its erected position.
The frame may be quickly and easily folded by simply loosening the nuts 13a, on the pivots 13, I5, whereupon the frame members 1, 2 and the leg members 8, 9 may be drawn together into a substantially parallel relation, as will be apparent from FIG. 2. Also, the frame member extensions 4, 6 and the leg member extensions l0, 11 may be retracted, if desired.
The aforementioned transmission and flywheel assembly 7 will now be described with particular reference to FIGS. 3 and 4. The same comprises a drive shaft 20 which is rotatably journaled in the sleeve 18, the latter being rigidly secured to the lower end portion of the frame member 1 as aforesaid. The ends of the drive shaft 20 are equipped with foot-pedal cranks 2i, 22, so that the shaft may be rotated in the manner of a bicycle by the occupant of the seat 5. A sprocket 23 is secured to the shaft 20 adjacent the crank 22 and is operatively connected by an endless chain 24 to a relatively smaller sprocket 25 on a countershaft 26.
The countershaft 26 is rotatably journaled in the frame member 1 below and in parallel with the drive shaft 20. Another sprocket 27 on the countershaft is connected by an endless chain 28 to a smaller sprocket 29 which is secured to and rotatable with a flywheel 30 on the drive shaft 20 adjacent the crank 21. This provides a compact arrangement wherein the flywheel 30 is coaxial with the drive shaft 20 and the whole gear train is located so that it does not protrude beyond the periphery of the flywheel. Of course, it will be understood that the flywheel 30 and the sprocket 29 are rotatable on the drive shaft 20 independently of the drive shaft rotation, and that when the drive shaft is rotated by actuation of the foot-pedal cranks 21, 22, the step-up gearing will produce a much faster rotation of the flywheel. The inertia of the flywheel is such as to provide the desired exercising effect which can be increased by resisting rotation of the flywheel, as for example, by a frictional brake 31 which may be engaged with the flywheel by any suitable means (not illustrated).
A drive connection 32 of a suitable nature is made from the countershaft 26 through a Bowden cable 33 to a speedometer or speed indicator 34, conveniently mounted on the handlebar 3.
The chain drive 23, 24, 25 of the transmission is protectively enclosed by a circular guard 35 disposed adjacent the footpedal crank 22. On the opposite side, the chain drive 27, 28, 29 is contained within the flanged flywheel 30 and is further protectively enclosed by a circular guard 36.
1. A bicycle-type exercising device, comprising in combination a foldable frame including a pair of downwardly convergent frame members and a pair of downwardly divergent leg members pivotally connected to said frame members so that the frame is substantially rigid when erected and so that the frame members and leg members may assume closely spaced substantially parallel positions when the frame is folded, a pair of transversely spaced straps straddling said frame members and leg members, one of the leg members being rigidly secured to said straps at one end of the latter, the other end portions of the straps being provided with longitudinal slots, a pivot element extending through said slots and connecting the other leg member and one of said frame members to the straps, and a second pivot element connecting the other frame member to the straps, a handlebar and a seat provided at the upper ends of the respective frame members, a step-up gear transmission mounted on one of said frame members adjacent its lower end, said transmission including a pedal-operated drive shaft, and a flywheel coaxial with said shaft, said flywheel being driven by said transmission.
2. The device as defined in claim 1 wherein each of said frame members is extensible and retractable and includes slidably telescoped sections. together with means releasably locking said sections in an adjusted position.
3. The device as defined in claim 1 wherein said leg members are provided with bevelled upper ends which supportably abut intermediate portions of the respective frame members when the frame is erected.
4. The device as defined in claim 1 wherein said pedaloperated drive shaft of said transmission is rotatably journaled in said one of said frame members, said transmission also including a countershaft rotatably journaled in said one of the frame members in parallel to said drive shaft, said flywheel being rotatably mounted on the drive shaft, and step-up gearing operatively connecting the drive shaft to said countershaft and said countershaft to said flywheel.
5. The device as defined in claim 4 together with guard plates enclosing said gearing concentrically with said drive shaft.
6. The device as defined in claim 1 together with a friction brake engageable with said flywheel.
7. The device as defined in claim 1 together with a speedometer provided on said handlebar and operatively connected to said transmission.