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Publication numberUS3727932 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 17, 1973
Filing dateMar 30, 1970
Priority dateMar 30, 1970
Also published asCA926889A1, DE2115199A1, DE2115199C2
Publication numberUS 3727932 A, US 3727932A, US-A-3727932, US3727932 A, US3727932A
InventorsDruss B, Williams K
Original AssigneeChimera Res And Dev Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ski binding
US 3727932 A
Abstract
A ski binding comprising but a single connection between the ski boot and the ski. The essential elements of the binding consist of a plug member and an interengaging socket member, one member being associated with the ski boot and the other with the ski. Optionally, a boot plate may be used to which the respective member may be attached in a conventional manner. In a preferred form, the plug member has simple screw means to adjust the force of loading interengaging spheres or balls, which is the desired release force by which the plug member is allowed to become detached from the socket member. The latter is an annulus of a diameter sufficient to receive the plug member. A plurality of recesses are spaced on the inner wall of the socket member to register with the spheres of the plug member. Any force whether longitudinal of the ski, or as a torque about the skier's body or legs, will develop a reactive force through or about the geometric center of the binding. If the force is sufficient in magnitude and duration an automatic separation of the engaging members is effected in response to the force.
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United Stateswatent r1 1 Druss et a1.

[451 Apr. 17, 11973 SK] BINDING [75] Inventors: Barry Lewis Druss; Kendall Scott Williams, both of Aspen, C010.

[73] Assignee: Chimera Research and Development, Inc, Holliswood, N.Y.

22 Filed: Mar. 30, 1970 21 App1.No.: 23,876

280/1135 C, 11.35 K; 36/36, 36 B, 15, 42, 41, 66, 2.5 AL, 2.5 AA; 220/55 Y, 55 K;

[56] 1 References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 1,234,508 7/1917 Sztari...... ..36/36 R 1,560,489 11/1925 Yager ..220/55 M UX 3,210,090 10/1965 Keeling et a1 ..280/l1.35 K 3,244,431 4/1966 Hatlapa ....280/l1.35 K 3,359,009 12/1967 Hinterholzer.... ....280/11.35 K 3,489,424 l/1970 Gertsch et 31.... ....280/l1.35 K 3,494,220 2/1970 Sm'olka et 31.... ....280/11.35 T X 3,606,368 9/1971 Smolka et a1.-... ..280/11.35 D 3,608,919 9/1971 Lollman et al.. ..280/1 1.35 R 3,610,643 10/1971 Reese, Jr. ..280/11.35 K

FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLlCATIONS 1,077,640 5/1954 France ..280/l1.35 K 1,255,073 1/1961 France ...280/11.35 C

1,129,864 5/1962 Germany ..36/42 1,022,396 3/1966 Great Britain ..280/11.35 K

268,189 8/1950 Switzerland ..280/1 1.35 K

Primary ExaminerKenneth H. Betts Assistant ExaminerMilton L. Smith Attorny-Tab T. Thein [57] ABSTRACT A ski binding comprising but a single connection between the ski boot and the ski. The essential elements of the binding consist of a plug member and an interengaging socket member, one member being associated with the ski boot and the other with the ski. Optionally, a boot platemay be used to which the respective member may be attached-in a conventional manner. In a preferred form, the plug member has simple screw means to adjust the force of loading interengaging spheres or balls, which is the desiredrelease force by which the plug member is allowed to become detached from the socket member. The latter is an annulus of a diameter sufficient to receive the plug member. A plurality of recesses are spaced on the inner wall of the socket member to register with the spheres of the plug member. Any force whether longitudinal of the ski, or as a torque about the skiers body or legs, will develop a reactive force through or about the geometric center of the binding. 1f the force is sufficient in magnitude and duration an automatic separation of the engaging members 'is effected in response to the force.

26 Claims, 29 DrawingFigures PATENTED APR 1 7191s SHEET 1 UF 8 5 2 sa M m ZflW in ow n m m fl N 50 a ML It mm m.

PATENTEDAPR 1 H913 3'. 727. 932

SHEET 3 OF 8 QFIIIIIIIIIA PATENTEDAFR 1 11913 3'. 727. 932

' saw u 0F 8 PATENTEDAPR 1 71m SHEET 8 [IF 8 PATENTED m1 11913 SHEET 7 OF 8 PATENTEDAPR 1 11913 3; 727. 932

'SHEET 8 BF 8 SKI BINDING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION l. Field of the Invention This invention relates to ski bindings and more particularly to ski bindings adapted to release automatically upon being subjected to a force of predetermined magnitude and duration.

2. Prior Art Heretofore ski bindings provided means attaching a skiers boot to a ski by mechanisms of varying degrees of complexity and reliability, with a common purpose of holding the boot to the ski during skiing maneuvers and to effect a release of the boot from the ski when the skier falls forwardly, backwardly or sidewardly or twists. Because of the basic design principle of substantially all of the prior ski bindings, the problem of effecting an accurate, reliable and substantially instantaneous release of the boot from the ski in response to forces which could cause injury to the skier has not been satisfactorily solved.

Previous ski bindings had to have means for attaching both the heel and the toe portion of the ski boot to the ski. Many different design forms provide in one way or another means to release either the heel portion or the toe portion so that with-either released the other portion will be also disengaged. In some designs attempts are made to disengage both portions substantially simulataneously.

According to the present invention the connection between the ski boot and the ski is effected by but a single means disposed intermediate the toe and heel portions but preferably in line with the axis of twist or rotation of the skiers leg. According to this principle of the ski binding the unitary connection is arranged to react to all forces that can possibly develop through a single point, geometrically centered relative to the skier and the ski equipment used by him while skiing.

It is a general object of this inventiontoovercome the shortcomings of prior-art ski bindings by a new principle.

It is a particular object of this invention to provide a ski binding wherein there is but a single effective connection between the ski boot and the ski.

It is still a further object of this invention to provide a reliable release when the skier falls, twists or is otherwise subjected to forces which would cause injury to him.

I SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the invention a'plug member and a socket member, constituting interengaging means, coact to hold the ski boot to the ski during normal use, and become disengaged when subjected to abnormal forces, the magnitude of which is predetermined and adjustably preset. One of. the members, preferably the plug member, is connected-directly to the ski, or an intermediate member such as an adjustable plate is first attached to the ski, and the plug member is attached to the plate.

The plug member is, in a preferred exemplary embodiment, of annular form provided with a plurality of channels extending radially through its body. A compression spring is constrained in each channel between a ball protruding partially through the periphery of the plug member on the outer end of the spring and an adjustment device on the inner end of the spring for effecting a compression adjustment of each spring.

The socket member is connected directly to the boot or to an intermediate boot plate to which the boot may be attached by conventional means.

The socket member is preferably provided with a plurality of recesses along the inner wall for registered engagement with the protruding balls of the plug member. The latter is adapted to be received in the opening of the socket member during normal skiing use and to be retained therein by the balls which are resiliently urged outwardly in the seated position within the respective recesses of the socket member. The spring force exerted on the balls is adjusted to a desired value by a single screw arranged on rotation to displace the springs disposed in the channels of the plug member. When a force exceeding the adjusted release force of the plug member is developed through the binding the spring force is overcome, allowing the balls to become unseated from the recesses whereby the plug member is disengaged automatically and substantially instantaneously from the socket member, allowing the boot to be separated completely from the ski.

BRIEFDESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a side elevation of an assembly of the ski binding according to the invention the, two engaging members being shown in separated or exploded relation;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of a portion of FIG. 1, showing the ski with a base plate carrying one of the engaging members, in the form of a plug member;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of a second engaging member, namely a socket member, taken along viewing line 3-3 of FIG. 1

FIG. 4 is a sectional-view of the plug member, taken along viewing line 4-4 of FIG. ll;

FIG. 4A is a sectional view of the plug member, taken along viewing line 4A4A of FIG. 4;

FIG. 5 is a top fragmentary view of the interengaging plug and socket members, partly in section;

FIGS. 5A, 5B and 5C are enlarged fragmentary views of the members in various relative positions;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view of a modified form of a socket member having grooves for channeling the balls from the seated position during release;

FIG. 7 is the sectional view of a modified socket member, taken along viewing line 77 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view, similar to FIG. 4, showing a modification of a ball-spring casing using spheres in the interior-instead of sectors;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary portion of a plug member showing the exploded parts of a modified form of tension adjustment means;

FIG. 9A is a fragmentary sectional view showing the elements of FIG. 9 in assembled relation within the inner portion of the plug member;

FIG. 10 is a plan view in section, similar to FIG. 8, showing a modification of the socket member wherein several of the ball-spring elements are replaced by leaf springs;

FIG. I 1 is a plan view in section showing a modification wherein the socket member is provided with resilient loaded ball connectors;

FIG. 111A is a sectional view taken along line 11A 11A ofFIG. llll;

FIG. 12 is a top plan view, partly in section, of a modified form of the engaging plug and socket members;

FIG. 12A is a sectional view of the members of FIG. 12 in an exploded view;

FIG. 13 is a side elevation view of a ski carrying a base plate and a plug member in a separated or exploded view, showing a modified form of boot connection members with boot attachment means omitted;

FIG. 14 is a top plan view of the plug member and ski of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a top plan view of the elements of FIG. 13 in an assembled relationship, including boot attachment means;

FIG. 16 is a sectional view of FIG. 15 as seen along viewing line l6-16;

FIG. 17 is a sectional view of FIG. 15 as seen along viewing line l717; and

FIG. 18 is a sectional view of FIG. 14 as seen along viewing line 18l8;

FIG. 19A shows a modification of the engaging mechanism, in a partial, sectional view similar to that of FIG. 8 (but supplemented with a portion of the socket member), wherein the spacing between adjoining detent elements is unequal;

FIG. 19B is a partial view similar to that of FIG. 19A, wherein passages of the plug member slope away, within the plane of the engaging mechanism, at a slight angle from a radial direction toward the inner portion of the plug member;

FIG. 20 is again a modified arrangement, similar in its side-elevational presentation to that of FIG. 13, wherein an intermediate plate (rather than the ski) carries at least one rest or couple element for the engaging member, the latter being provided on the ski; and

FIG. 21 is a partial sectional view, similar to FIG. 4, illustrating an annular restraining member encircling the plug member about the outer ends of its passages.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings there is shown in FIG. 1 a ski 10 carrying a plug member 12 which is adapted to be received in and engaged by a socket member 14. As a matter of example, the plug member 12 is mounted to the ski 10 by being first mounted on or integrally formed with a base plate 16 which in turn is mounted to the ski at four connections 18, two of which are at the end of the base plate on the lateral edges thereof. A rubber or other resilient gasket may be interposed between the ski l0 and the base plate 16 if desired.

A long forward track 20 and a relatively shorter rearward track 22 are attached to the upper face of the base plate 16 and suitably provided with slotted screw guides 24, with tightening screws 25 allowing for adjustment whereby the base plate 16 is longitudinally positioned relative to the ski l0.

Suitably secured by a dove-tail slot on the respective tracks 20, 22 are front and rear fulcrums 26, 28 of generally semi-cylindrical form, and each is provided with a set or lock screw 30 for securing each fulcrum in position over the tracks at desired locations. The ends of each fulcrum extend over the edges of the tracks 20, 22 in dove-tail relation restrained to allow for sliding of each fulcrum over its track.

The socket member 14 is generally annular and is preferably mounted on or integrally formed with a boot plate 32 extending generally the length of a ski boot.

A toe piece 34 is attached to an angle plate 36 which is rendered slidable between boot plate 32 and a forward support plate 33 and clamped into any desired longitudinal position.

Plate 33 is secured in a desired position by a plurality of screws 37 passing through boot plate 32 and into any of a suitable plurality of threaded holes in the plate 33. The toe piece 34 is provided with a toe guide 40 adjustably fixed in height above the surface of the boot plate 32 as by a bolt 42. A curved hood or shield 35 is mounted atthe front of the toe piece to deflect snow.

A heel piece 44 of any suitable and conventional form is attached to a channel bracket 46 at pivotal connections 48. Such a heel piece is preferably provided with a quick-action snap-lock and with spring-loaded guide arms of any conventional form. A rearward support plate 50 clamps channel bracket 46 to the boot plate 32'and is arranged to allow for longitudinal adjustment of the heel piece 44 to various size boots as by screws 51 threaded into holes in plate 50. Thus, the boot plate 32 is provided with means for attaching a ski boot thereto of any size by the provision of the adjustable toe and heel means 34, 44.

According to the present invention, in order to effect a substantially firm if not rigid connection between the boot and the ski which is maintained through all the skiing maneuvers that are normally expected to be encountered and yet to cause or allow to occur a separation of the ski from the boot for accidental or unexpected maneuvers which would otherwise cause a fracture or break of the skier's bones or otherwise cause injury to the body, we have provided an effective single connection between the skier and the ski. The means for achieving this connection is embodied in the interengaging members 12, 14.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 4A, there is shown sectional views of an exemplary form of the plug member 12. This is generally a short cylinder 12A having a hollow central portion 52. A plurality, preferably eight, cylindrical passages 54 extend substantially radially outwardly from the central portion 52 to a peripheral annular portion 56. Each of the passages 54 is reduced in diameter, as by an annular bevel 58, between the inner diameter of the peripheral portion 56 and an outer face 59 of the plug member housing 12A, one such passage being shown in enlarged form in FIG. 5A. The purpose of the bevel 58 is to keep a spherical member such as a ball 60 from escaping from the respective passage 54.

For manufacturing purposes the bevel 58 can be effectively duplicated by an annular ring shown dotted and having dimensions corresponding to the annular portion 56 and provided with non-beveled holes of smaller diameter than the passages 54.

The use of the annular portion 56 for restraining the balls 60 in their outward movement will be described somewhat later with reference to a detail view given in FIG. 21, similar to an outer segment of the plug member 12 shown in FIG. 4.

The ball 60 is positioned at the end of each passage 54, each ball having a diameter sufficiently large to clear the passage 54 and yet be retained within the reduced diameter portion defined for example by the annular bevel 58. At the inner end of each passage 54 is seated an inner spring retainer segment 62 having a boss 64 over which one end of a coil spring 66 is seated. The retainer segment 62 is shaped in plan view (FIG. 4) to taper towards the center of the housing 52 in sector form so that the plurality of such adjacent retainers 62 form a closely spaced tight-fitting array. The elevation or side profile of each retainer segment (FIG. 4A) is tapered toward the center 53 of the mechanism for adjustment of the force release desired, as will be explained.

A spring 66 is seated in each passage 54, oneend of each, as already indicated, being seated over the boss 64 of an associated retainer 62, and the other end pressing against the surface of the associated ball 60. The plug member 12 is thus provided with a plurality of balls 60 urged resiliently outwardly, towards the inside face of the socket member 14 when in engaged position therein.

Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown a view .of an exemplary form of the socket member 14 as seen along viewing line 3-3 of FIG. 1. The socket member 14 is formed generally of a shallow annular housing 68 provided with, say, eight radially oriented passages 70,'

conveniently threaded into each of which is nested a cupped-recessed insert 72 the outer end of which is provided with a tool slot or socket 74 for installation and adjustment of the inserts 72 within the passages 70.

The cupped-inserts 72 can be, if desired, integrally formed with the socket member 14. The inserts 72 are equally spaced about the housing 68 and each is so aligned as to register exactly with a respective ball 60 of the plug member 12. The recess 73 of the insert 72 is preferably slightly less than hemispherical, that is, the depth of the recess with respect to an inner surface 69 of the socket member 14 is slightly less than the radius of the balls'60.

The radially outward force of the balls 60, in register with the recesses 73 in the socket member 14, will depend upon the force of springs 66 and the adjusted pressure of the segments 62 bearing against those springs. The adjustment of each of segment 62 is effected by a screw 76 threadably guided .within a bore 78 of the plug member 12. The inner or bottom portion 80 of the screw 76 is provided with a taper having an angle complementary to the slope of the segments 62 as seen in FIG. 4A.

Thus the adjustment of the screw 76, inwardly or outwardly of the bore 78, provides for means for adjusting by a single screw the radial position of all segments 62 simultaneously and thereby change the effective force of each spring 66 on its associated ball 60. The greater the depth of the screw 76 rotated into the bore 78 the greater will be the force exerted on each ball 60 and thus the greater the force that will be necessary to cause the ball 60 to be depressed out of detent or engagement with the respective recess 73 in the socket member 14 (FIG. 3).

When the plug member 12 is seated within the socket member 14 each of the balls 60 will be in register with the respective recess 73 and the ski body will be in substantially firm if not rigid connection with the boot plate 32. This operative relation should be understood to be effected by the socket member 14 of FIG. 1 being guided over the plug member 12 and to be snapped into detented relation therewith.

Although the base plate 16 may be mounted at any desired location along the longitudinal axis of the ski 10, we have found that more effective control of the skiing maneuvers or manipulations can be effected if the axis of the adjustment screw 76 (FIG. 4A) and the torque axis of the skiers leg coincide or are substantially co-linear.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the flexure center of the ski need not be, and most likely is not, the geometric center of the ski which is, at the middle thereof. With the base plate 16 mounted generally so that the axis of the screw 76 and thus the center 53 of the connection means coincides, adjustment of the plate 16 by means of the slots 24 will provide adjustable means for positioning the users boot relative to the flexure center of the ski whereby the ideal relation of the skiers leg can be established co-axially with the center of the single connection means of the present invention.

In use, the screw 76 (FIGS. 1 and 4A) is rotated to adjust the compression on the springs 66 (FIGS. 4 and 4A) to the desired value. Known testing devices may be used to determine the precise force desired at which a release will occur. For certain skiing operations, it is desirable to have a larger release force than for others. Thus, a skillful skier in a racing situation will adjust for a larger release force than a neophyte. Until the skier knows the critical release condition for his style of skiing, it is preferable that the release force be adjusted to a relatively low value which can, of course, be readjusted to higher values with increased experience.

After the adjustment of the spring forces, the socket member 14 is then placed over the plug member 12 so that the longitudinal axis of the boot plate 32 is in line with the longitudinal axis of the ski 10 (FIG. 1). The two components are interengaged so that the balls 60 are received in detented position within the recesses 73 (FIG. 3). The skier then places his boot over the boot plate 32 with the boot toe facing into the toe guide 40 and attaches the heel piece 44 around the heel of the boot. The skier is now ready for skiing.

If the skier is involved with a falling situation wherein a lateral force is applied to his ski there will be developed a torque or couple about the axis of the screw 76 (center 53) which in turn will develop a torque about the skiers leg. The torque on the leg will continue as long as the original force is sustained. If the force is sufficiently great and the duration is sufficiently long the leg will be injured by sprains or fractures, particularly a serious type known as a spiral fracture. These types of injuries occur from conventional ski bindings owing to their failure of automatic automatically and timely disengaging the ski from the skiers boot.

According to the present invention this type of accident or injury is significantly reduced by the operation of the ski binding to separate automatically in response to the applied torque or moment before the injury can occur.

According to this invention the action of separating the ski binding, so that the boot carrying the socket member 14 is safely disengaged from the ski carrying the plug member 12, becomes effective when a predetermined force is reached as follows.

A torque caused by a force striking the ski Ml will cause or tend to cause the plug member 12 to rotate relative to the socket member 14 about the center 53 of the release mechanism in the direction of the applied torque. Each of the balls 60 will be subjected to a force having a tangential component relative to the plug member 12, which in turn develops a component force radially inward of the plug member 12, since the annular bevel 58 and the walls of the passages 54 containing the balls prevent any tangential or lateral movement thereof. The radial inward displacement of the balls 60 thus tends to disengage or, in fact, disengages at least one ball from the respective cup 73 of the socket member 14.

The amount of inward displacement of the ball 60 depends on, first, the adjusted compression of the spring 66 which defines its linear displacement that is produced by the applied force, and, second, the duration of the force causing the torque. If such force is adequate and continued the plug member 12 will be rotated sufficiently to completely disengage the ball 60 in question from its cup 73. When such a disengagement occurs the ball 60 will ride on or clear the inner face 69 of the annular portion of the socket member 14 (FIG. 3) and will allow the plug member 12 to separate the ski 10 from the ski boot.

If the force is not sustained long enough to effect a complete disengagement of the ball or balls 60 from its or their recess 73, the ball will reseat itself in operative position so that the skier may continue. This action thus allows the skier to absorb non-injuring jolts or forces without disruption of skiing.

Referring now to FIGS. 5A, 5B, and 5C there is shown sectional enlarged fragmentary elevative portions of the plug member 12 in several possible positions. FIG. 5A shows the ball 60 of socket member 12 seated in recess 73 of the socket member 14. The top edge of outer face 59 is preferably beveled as shown at 59A to provide clearance between the top of the plug member and the bottom corner of the socket member.

A recessed insert 72 is illustrated in FIG. 5A (a fragmentary modification of FIG. 3) with shoulders and reduced shanks. FIG. 5A is a section taken along line 5A-5A of FIG. 5.

FIG. 5B shows the ball 60 disengaged from the recess 73 and riding the surface 69 of the socket member 14, at a portion intermediate the recesses 73 of two adjoin ing inserts 72 (see FIG. 3). The bottom edge of surface 69 also may be beveled as at 69A to provide better clearance with the plug member 12. FIG. 5C shows the latter 12 just disengaged from the recess of the socket member 14 and having been displaced vertically.

The ski binding responds to forces, blows, or impacts exceeding the pre-set adjustment to effect a complete and substantially instantaneous separation of the interengaging members. The direction of the force effec tively acting on the members will determine which ball or balls 60 are in contact with the inner surface of the socket member. Thus, for certain actions some detented balls will be in contact with the socket member wall and some balls diametrically opposite therefrom will be clear of the socket member.

It should be noted that the clear space between the inner wall 69 of the socket member 14 and the outer face 59 of the plug member is determined in part by the sizes of the balls 60 and the recesses'73.

In order to provide positive disengagement of the socket member 14 from the plug member 12, the spacing between their peripheral portions may be such as to allow for the balls to be clear of any contact with the inner face 69 of the socket member 14.

For certain requirements it may be desirable to have the spacing reduced such that the balls 60 actually make contact with the inner wall 69 after they have been disengaged from the cups 73, as illustrated in FIG. 58. For either design, spacing is critically related to the relative heights of the socket and plug members, particularly the relative spacingof the balls 60 and the recesses 73. Too large a distance from the recess 73 to the bottom edge of the socket member can cause binding of the plug member 12 within the socket member 14 for separation movements causing relative canting of the two parts.

The shorter the edge-to-recess distance, the less will be the binding effect due to canting. It will be understood thus that the chosen design of the several components will determine the relative spacing and dimension so that positive separation occurs when the selected force of separation has been developed.

For certain designs it may be desirable to slant the channels 54 of the plug member 12 upwardly from the central portion 52 to the outer peripheral portion 56. The slant of each channel may be the same or one group may be inclined at a smaller angle than another group of channels to effect a release pattern as desired, or channels 54 may slant upwardly.

It will be noted that many types of forces to which a skier is subjected can cause or can tend to cause unexpected injuries to the skier. A simple fall can cause an injury. It will be understood that any force or action to which the skier is subjected'that may cause the skier to lose his balance or otherwise cause injury to him are contemplated by the binding mechanism of the invention.

Thus a force that would tend to cause a longitudinal pivot of the boot relative to the ski 10 if of sufficient magnitude and duration will cause a separation of the boot from the ski. Thus, one or more balls 60 in line with such a separating pivotal force will be detented out of the respective sockets 73 and allow the plug member 12 to be separated from the socket member 14. This type of movement would correspond to a forward and backward fall of the skier.

It should be noted in these movements that the fulcrums 26, 28 serve as either forward or rearward fulcrums about which the pivoting action of the boot makes relative to the ski to effect the separation of the plug member 12 from the socket member 14. The fulcrums 26, 28 are each independently adjustable relative to the central axis 53 of the assembly.

The closer each of the fulcrums is to the central axis, the lower amount of force will be necessary to effect separation. Conversely, the greater distance the fulcrums are positioned from the central axis 53 of the assembly, the greater will be the force necessary to effect separation.

It will now be appreciated that the ski binding assembly of the invention provides for a wide range of release adjustment both for the neophyte as well as the highly skilled skier.

As indicated above, the screw 76 in the plug member I2 provides for very simple adjustment by rotating it and establishing thereby various values of effective forces of the several springs 66 acting on the balls 60.

It will be further appreciated that the several release force adjustments as provided according to this invention are adjustable independent of each other. By these independent adjustments a skier can adjust for a relatively easy separation owing to torques which would thereby allow for quick, reliable and automatic separa tion for lateral forces, and at the sametime the fulcrums 26, 28 can be adjusted for relatively large forces of separation along the longitudinal direction of the skis as for example caused by forward and backward falls. Thus the three members, namely the forward and rearward fulcrums 26, 28 and the screw member 76, can be adjusted to cover all release requirements that any-skier desires. It will be especially noted that heretofore conventional ski binding mechanisms were incapable of providing for such a wide range of seemingly contradictory release requirements.

If the force causing the original torque is momentary the ski will not be separated from the boot by the following action of the mechanism which serves as a shock absorber. According to the invention we have arranged an automatic detaching mechanism to have aplay or override to prevent an instantaneous separation of the boot from the ski. This operation is in accordance with the expected mode of operation of conventional ski binding devices.

According to conventional ski bindings a possible total displacement of about one inch is provided in the toe binding portion. Such shock absorbing play is needed, as just explained, to allow forces of short duration not to cause disengagement of the binding from the ski. Conventional ski bindings provide for such lost motion by mechanisms of various designs providing in general a pivoting mechanism directly on the toe portion of the boot. Similar devices have been provided for allowing a play of the heel portion of the boot.

According to the present invention, the lost motion or play of the toe portion is effected by a proportionately smaller play in the cooperative action of the engaging plug and socket members 12, I4, respectively.

In a preferred form of the invention the balls 60 are three-sixteenths inch in radius. The depth of the recesses 73 in the socket member 14 is slightly less than three-sixteenths inch. Thus a relative rotation of threesixteenths inch can occur between the engaging members before there is a disengagement of the balls 60 from their respective recesses 73. Any force of a magnitude and duration that is insufficient to cause any ball 60 from being fully unseated from its recess 73 but ef fects partial unseating thereof allows that ball 60 to be fully re-seated in the recess 73 by the action of the respective spring 66 after the force has ceased.

The mechanical advantage of the movement of the toe of the boot relative to the maximum movement of the ball 60 without unseating from the socket 73 is such as to cause a rotating deflection of the toe of generally of about one inch, the length of the boot affecting this deflection, since the deflection is proportional to the boot length.

llfl

Thus, according to the invention the skier can ex perience a toe movement of about 1 inch before his boot will be disengaged from the ski as a result of momentary forces of insufficient magnitude and duration that otherwise would tend to cause an injury.

Various possible modifications of the invention will be understood by those skilled in the art in view of the embodiment just described. In particular it should be apparent thatthe balls 60 need not be strictly spherical inform but may have an oblate spheroid shape, the recesses 73 being suitably shaped to accommodate such shapes.

Furthermore, it will be appreciated that the boot it self may be provided'with a socket member integrally formed in its sole portion. It is understood that it would be somewhat impractical, if not undesirable, for the skier to have his ski boot designed to incorporate a mechanism that is suitable only for a particular form of ski binding. But it is nevertheless within the purview of the present invention that a boot may be so provided with means for making a single and direct connection between the skiers boot and the ski.

Furthermore, it will be apparent, as has been mentioned before, that the plug member 12 may be mounted on the boot plate 32 and in turn the socket member 14 on the base plate 16. In other words, the operation of the mechanism can be effected by the interchange of the socket and plug members without affecting the operation of the automatic separation principle of the invention.

Further, the fulcrums 26, 28 may be mounted on the boot plate 32 instead of the base plate 16.

In a modified form of the invention the spacing of the balls 60 within the plug member 12 may be unequal, the spacing being chosen according to a particular mode of operation desired. Thus, a greater separation force may be developed with respect to certain torques by spacing the'balls, for example, more closely in the portion nearer the toeof the boot. Such spacing of the balls may be an angular separation of about 30, the balls on the heelward portion being spaced 45 to 60.

A modified form of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 showing a fragmentary portion in sectional'elevation of the inner wall of the socket member 14. FIG. 7 illustrates a track or groove 82a and 82b extending incurved or helical path in opposite directions from a recess 73; in the section of FIG. 6 the grooves are generally designated by numeral 82. (The primed numbers are used to indicate modified but otherwise similar parts.) The recess 73' is formed in an inner surface or wall 69' of a socket member 14'. A plug member (not shown) which operates with the socket member 14', illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, may have only diametrically opposed balls (similar to 60). The balls are seated in the recesses 73' when the socket member 14' receives the plug member as previously described.

The grooves 82a and 82b are shallower than the recess holes 73. The relative depth of the grooves to the recess holes is chosen according to the operating characteristics desired as explained above'with respect to the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, and

particularly to FIGS. SA-SC.

In operation the balls 60 when exposed long enough to a sufficient force will detent from the recesses 73' and be guided downwardly along the groove path 82a, 82b depending on the direction of the force causing the detent action, until the balls are cleared from the grooves, allowing thereby complete physical separation of the plug and socket members and, thereby, complete separation of the ski from the skier.

It will be appreciated that this embodiment (FIGS. 6 and 7) is distinguished fromthe previous embodiment (FIGS. 1 to 4) in that the balls 60 when detented from the recesses are constrained to be guided along a path to force separation of the socket and plug members. The grooves thereby obviate the possibility of the balls skipping from one recess to another as could occur for certain torque forces that effect a relative rotational motion of the components without axial movements.

It should be appreciated, however, that the embodiment with the helical grooves tends to bind for longitudinal forces such as cause forward and backward falling. This shortcoming, however, can be minimized by shaping the grooves 82 in a relatively shallow angular direction.

The socket member 14 of FIGS. 6 and 7 may be integrally formed into the sole of a boot 250 by attaching a mounting flange 252 to the body of the sole 250, such as by screws 254.

Referring now to FIG. 8, there is shown another modifed form of the invention wherein spherical members, such as balls, are substituted for the springretainer sector segments 62, as described with respect to FIG. 4. This view is similar except for the modification that will be described. It will be understood that the various parts carrying identical reference numerals are similar to those described in FIG. 4.

In the embodiment of FIG. 8, showing a plug member 12', inner balls 162 are substituted for the retainer segments 62. The springs 66 included in the passages 54 are thereby constrained between the respective surfaces defined by the outer balls 60 and the inner balls 162.

A screw 176 similar to screw 76 serves to provide an adjustment of spring-compression force on the respective balls by forcing the balls 162 outwardly into the radial passages 54 and thereby compress the springs 66 to effect a resulting greater outward force by the balls 60 into the respective recesses 73 when seated. Otherwise, this modification operates substantially as described above and is advantageous because spherical balls 162 are more economical than retainer sector segments 62. FIG. 8 is thus a preferred form of the invention.

A still further modified form of the invention is shown in FIG. 9A the components thereof being shown in exploded view in FIG. 9. According to this form the adjustable screw member 176 of FIG. 8 is replaced by a screw 276 adapted for a slip collar fit. The screw 276 is seated in the housing of plug member 12 for rotation within a slip collar 279 which is threadably attached to the housing as at 279A. Attached to the screw 276 is a circular disc member 277 having a contoured side face 278 to be displaced vertically along the axis of the screw 276 and to thereby cause balls 262 to be displaced relative to the vertical position of the disc 277.

Referring now to FIG. 10, there is shown a further modifed form of the invention wherein similar components as those described in FIG. 4 are shown, similar the same reference numerals referring to identical parts.

Here only one pair of diametrically opposed balls 60 is used preferably oriented along the longitudinal axis of the ski 10. A pair of leaf springs 102, 104 are disposed in a recess formed within plug member 12 and suitably retained therein. The inner face of the socket member 14 is provided with a pair of diametrically opposed recesses 73, as previously described, for receiving the balls 60. In addition an elongated recess 106, 108 is provided within the adjacent portions of the inner wall 69 of the socket member 14.

The recesses 106 and 108 are adapted to receive generally the outer surfaces of the springs 102, 104. Release force adjustment on the balls 60 is accomplished simultaneously with a similar force release adjustment on the springs 102, 104 by screw 76, similar to that previously described. A tapered surface of the screw 76 allows for displacing the respective springs 66 to thereby effect a force-release adjustment.

Referring now to FIG. 1 1, there is shown still another modified form of the invention wherein a socket member 140, being a modification of the socket member 14 previously described, is provided with spring loaded members placed therein instead of in the plug member. A plug member 120, being a modification of the member 12 heretofore described, is passive insofar that no spring members are provided therein.

Referring now particularly to FIG. 11, the socket member 140 is provided with a plurality of radial cylindrical passages 142, each provided with a spring 144. The inner wall 146 of the socket member 140 is provided with a plurality of reduced-diameter apertures 148 into which are seated balls 150. The outer ends of the springs 144 are seated in a member 152 which may be provided with a slot for threadably adjusting the pressure on the springs 144.

In an alternative, a band 154 may be applied around the circumference of the socket member 140 with a tightening means 156 (slidable rather than threaded) to effect desirable tensional force on the band 154 which in turn acts simultaneously on the member 152 thereby adjusting the force on the springs 144.

The plug member as seen in FIG. 11A is provided with a series of detent recesses 158 for receiving the respective balls 150. Curved channels or grooves 160 are provided in the outer periphery of the plug 120, curving symmetrically on either side of the recesses 158 towards the upper edge of the plug member 120. In operationthe latter when engaging socket member causes a seating of the balls in the recesses 158. The separation of the two members is effected in a similar manner as previously described.

Referring now to FIGS. 12 and 12A, there is shown a further modified form of theinvention wherein a plug member 220 is arranged to engage a socket member 240.

The structure of the plug member 220 is similar to the member 12 previously described with respect to FIG. 8. The earlier-mentioned balls 162 act from the inner portion of the member on springs 66, the screw 176 providing means for adjusting the compression force on the springs by displacing the balls 162. On the extreme outer end of each spring 66 is disposed a lever 180 having an extension or head 182 protruding above the surface of the plug member 220. Shank portions 184 of the levers 180 extend into the body portion and are kept in place by the pressure of the ends of springs 66, pressing against them with the action of the outer peripheral wall portion 222 of the plug member which holds them in place.

The socket member 240 is generally a circular disc provided with four apertures 242 corresponding in number to that of lever 180, of a size sufficient to clear the head 182 of the lever 180. The bottom surface 244 of the socket member 240 is provided with an elongated aperturetapering towards the small aperture pors tion 246. In operation the socket member 240 engages the plug member 220 by the levers 180 being respectively inserted into the apertures 242. The catch or head portions 182 extend into recesses 250a formed on the radially inner surfaces of the apertures 242. The socket member 240 may be formed integrally with a rectangular boot plate, the apertures being arranged in generally circular array.

In operation any force to cause a harmful torque on the skier as previously described will pivot at least one lever 180 against the force of its spring 66.

The fulcrum of each lever 180 is effective at a portion 186 as shown in FIG. 12A. If the force is sufficient in magnitude and duration the lever 180 will be detented from the respective recess 250a of the aperture 242, allowing the lever'180 to be guided along a contour portion 252a of the small aperture portion 246 to the bottom surface 244 to cause a separation of the Socket member 240 from the plug member 220.

If the head 182 of the lever 180 is disposed to face radially outward with respect to the plug member 220, a recess such as 250a in socket member 240 would be adapted to be included in the radially outward portion of the aperture 242. Also, the fulcrum of pivot action of the lever 180 in response to separation forces will occur at a portion 190 as shown in FIG. 12A.

It will be appreciated that this form of the invention does not involve a reception of the complete plug member 220 into a recess of the socket member 240. It does, however, cause a portion of the former to be received in a recess portion of the latter. In other respects theoperation of this form of the invention is similar and of course within the scope of the invention as previously described.

Referring now to FIGS. 13 through 18 there will now be described a complete assembly of a preferred ski binding embodying the" features of the invention, including an improved means for attaching the ski boot to a quick attach and quick release boot plate. The latter is arranged to automatically adjust for any size of boot length in cooperation with improved heel and toe pieces.

FIG. 13 illustrates in side elevation the ski l carrying the plug member 12, preferably of the form illustrated in FIG. 8, attached to a base plate 298 (similar to 16, FIG. 1), which in turn is attached to the ski as by screws 296. Forward and rearward fulcrums 26' and 28' are dovetailed to the edges of the base plate as seen in FIG. 18, and locked in place as desired by set or look screws 30'.

In exploded relation to the ski 10 is a boot plate 32' integrally formed with the earlier-mentioned socket member 14' (see FIGS. 6, 7), preferably of a form similar to that illustrated in FIG. 3. The boot plate 32 is formed with a circular inner aperture 310 provided with a plurality of threaded holes to receive ball recesses 312 threadably inserted as by slots 312' to receive spring loaded balls of the plug member 12'. See the sectional view of these elements in FIGS. 16 and 15.

A generally elongated forward extension plate portion 314 extends integrally from a ring portion 311 in diametric opposite relationship; a rear extension plate portion is shown at 316. Forward and rearward bootplate sheats 300, 302 are arranged to slidably telescope with the extension portions 314 316, respectively. Sheath 300 is formed with a top wall 318 having a circular cutout 320 to provide access to the adjustment screw 76 on the plug member 12, see FIG. 15.

Forward sheath, 300 further is formed with a bottom wall 322 and side walls 324 of substantial thickness sufficient to define a snug fit and path for the forward portion 314 of the boot plate 32'. An end wall 326 provides a closure and limit for the end of the plate 314. Screws 297 attaching the plug member 12 to the base plate 298 may serve to be the principal attachment to the ski 10.

Rearward sheath 302 is similarly formed although it is somewhat shorter since it serves to support the heel portion of the boot. See FIG. 15 where it is apparent that the assembly is arranged for the plug and socket member portions to be disposed towards the heel portion so that the geometric center thereof is substantially colinear with the skiers leg.

In operation the forward and rear sheaths 300,302 are slipped over the ends of the plate 32' and closed towards each other, limited by the end wall 326, and the abutment of the inner ends including the cutout 320 as shown in FIG. 15.

A novel feature of this preferred form of ski binding is shown particularly in FIGS. 15 through 18. A pair of flexible cable attachments for the heel portion of the boot are attached to screws 330 connected to the side walls 324 of forward sheath 300. A piece of flexible wire (suitably covered with plastic or rubber) is provided on each side with loops for connection to the screws 330 and a turnbuckle 334. The opposite looped ends of the turnbuckles are attached to another piece of flexible wire which in turn is looped conjointly from both sides through 'a pivot catch 338 having a handle portion 338a for moving about a pivot 338b. A wire loop 340 is adapted to be snagged in teeth 342 of the catch 338 as needed for the particular boot size. The wire loop 340 and another wire 336, on the opposite side, are also looped about a generally C-or U-shaped bracket 344 suitably connected for pivoted movement on the side walls of sheath 302. The forward end of the sheath 300 carries another generally C-shaped bracket 346 also arranged for pivotal movement by attachment to the side walls 324 of the forward sheath 300.

In use the skier inserts the toe of his boot under the bracket 346 and places the heel portion down to cover the opening defined by the cutout 320. The heel will extend rearward thereof. The catch 338 is arranged to engage loop 340 and is pivoted to hold the latter in tight position against the rear of the boot, substantially as shown in FIG. 17. The boot itself is not shown but its position in the binding will be apparent. The bracket 344 is then pivoted rearward and downward, substantially as shown in FIG. 16 to thereby firmly tighten the heel bracket assembly.

When it is desired to release the boot from the boot plate, the handle 338a is pivoted thereby releasing the loop 340 so that the boot is free from the connection. The binding itself in respect of the adjustment of the fulcrums 26, 28', and the adjustment and operation of the plug and socket member assembly, should be readily apparent in view of the previous descriptions.

FIGS. 19A and 198 show modifications (in sectional illustrations similar to FIG. 8 but partly cut away and partly supplemented). For the sake of better correlation with the previous figures, identical reference numerals have been used, such as 12 and 14', respectively, for the plug and the socket members, 54 for radial passages which accommodate springs 66, and respective outer and inner detent elements in the form of balls 60, 162.

The inner surface of the described annular housing is identified by 69. The modifications may include recessed inserts 72 against which the balls 60 are urged by the springs 66, with inner, profiled recesses 73 for said balls. The central screw 76 (of FIGS. 1, 2, 4a) is also shown in FIGS. 19A and 19B.

The modification of FIG. 19A has an engaging mechanism wherein the spacing between adjoining detent elements is unequal. This can be provided between the detent elements, such as balls 60 and the recesses 73 provided therefor. It will be noted that the angle a between the dot-dashed center lines of the two lowermost balls 60 is larger than the angle B between the pair of balls following in the counterclockwise direction. Balls and recesses on opposite sides of the plug and socket members are not necessarily within the same diametral lines.

The modification of FIG. 198, in turn, shows passages in the plug member which slope away, within the plane of the engaging mechanism, at a slight angle from a radial direction toward the inner portion of the plug member. The passages 54 are shown to slope away with their respective dot-dash center lines, identified by R, from the radial direction denoted by R; this is considered to be an important and useful alternative feature of the invention.

FIG. 20 illustrates a possible reversal of the arrangement of FIG. 1 (or FIGS. 13 to 18), wherein the rest or fulcrum members (26, 28; 26, 28'), constituting one or more couples, are respectively provided on the ski for the skier's boot. FIG. 20 shows such elements at 126', 128', as well as cooperating track portions 120', 122', in the intermediate plate 32, for cooperation in a reversed sense with the ski 10.

Here again already described parts and reference numerals have been used, namely 12, 14,34, 36, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 60, 72 and 76, substantially as shown and described for FIG. 1, except for the reversal of the arrangement of the rest or couple elements.

Finally, reference has been made earlier to the modification of FIG. 21 wherein the annular member 56 of FIG. 4 is used to restrain the outward movement of the balls 60. Numerals I2, 54, 66 denote the same parts as in FIG. 4, while 56a denotes holes or apertures in the annular member 56, somewhat smaller in diameter than those of the passages 54 (or of the respective balls 60). It will be understood that the socket member 14 and other details have been omitted from the showing of this figure, and also some other less important parts from the modified embodiments of FIGS. 19A, 19B and 20.

It should also be understood that the just described modifications are fully compatible with other, optional features and arrangements of the inventive ski binding and intermediate plate, as described hereinbefore.

It should now be understood that we have provided a ski binding having essentially but a single connection between the skiers boot and the ski. According to the principle of the invention a substantially instantaneous separation of the boot from the ski is automatically effected upon the impact of a force predetermined in magnitude by the skiers chosen release value. Furthermore the action of the forward and rearward fulcrums provides means to adjust for a release of the binding for substantially longitudinally directed impacts, independent of the adjustment made for the release of the plug and socket members laterally. Thus seemingly contradictory release requirements can be independently selected whereby a wide range of adjustments can be made for releasing the ski binding for many different skiing conditions.

Various alternative, modified and combined forms of the invention other than those specifically illustrated and described will be readily understood by those skilled in this art.

What is claimed is:

1. A ski binding for removably attaching a skiers boot to a ski, comprising an interengaging mechanism (FIGS. 1, l3, 16) between the boot (250) and the ski (10), said mechanism having substantially planar engaging portions (12/14, 12'/14, /140, 220/240) forward of the heel portion of the boot and rearward of the toe portion of the boot, operatively associated with the boot and the ski, respectively, detent means (60/73, 60/73', 60/176, 60/276, /158, 162) forming part of said engaging portions for positive indexing therebetween in the respective planes of said engaging portions as well as in angular directions with respect to the longitudinal axes of the boot and the ski, said engaging portions being adapted to react by relative rotational movement, movement out of said planes of the engaging portions, and a combination of said movements, upon occurrence of a force of predetermined magnitude and duration, thereby allowing release of said engaging portions from each other and of the boot from the ski when the skier encounters a major obstacle which results in said force, further comprising means (20, 22, 30; 76, 176, 276; 120', 122') for adjusting the force by which said engaging portions are allowed to release from each other, wherein said engaging portions are respectively secured to coextensive but opposing portions (10, 16; 32, 32') of said interengaging mechanism, further comprising at least one fulcrum means (26, 28; 26', 28'; 126', 128') slidably secured to one of said mechanism portions, in a location selectively spaced apart from said engaging portions in forward and rearward directions along the extension of the ski, said fulcrum means allowing pivotal movement of the boot with respect to the ski to provide at least one couple with respect to one of said engaging portions, and wherein said force adjusting means includes means (20,

17 22, 30, 120', 122) for adjusting the relative position of said at least one couple with respect to the other of said mechanism portions.

2. A ski binding for removably attaching a skiers boot to a ski, comprising an interengaging mechanism (FIGS. 1, 13, 16) between the boot (250) and the ski said mechanism having substantially planar engaging portions (12/14, 12'/14, 120/140, 220/240) forward of the heel portion of the boot and rearward of the toe portion of the boot, operatively associated with the boot and the ski, respectively, detent means (60/73, 60//73, 60/176, 60/276, 150/158, 162) forming part of said engaging portions for positive indexing therebetween in the respective planes of said engaging portions as well as in angular directions with respect to the longitudinal axes of the boot and the ski, said engaging portions being adapted to react by relative rotational movement, movement out of said planes of the engaging portions, and a combination of said move ments, upon occurrence of a force of predetermined magnitude and duration, thereby allowing release of said engaging portions from each other and of the boot from the ski when the skier encounters a major obstacle which results in said force, wherein said engaging portions include a socket member (14, 14', 140, 240) and a plug member (12, 12' 120, 220), said members being adapted to be resiliently, detachably intercon nected, and resilient means (66, 144) for maintaining said members in connected relation, further comprising means (32', 314, 316, 300, 302, 330, 334 to 346) for attaching one (14') of said socket and said plug members at least indirectly to the boot, including an elongated plate (32') having forward (314) and rearward (316) extensions, said plate being arranged to be oriented generally lengthwise of the ski, said one member being attached to said plate at an intermediate portion thereof, first and second slidable sheaths (300, 302) adapted for respective engagement with said extensions, a toe bracket (346) on said first sheath for holding the toe portion of the boot, and cable means (330, 334 to 342) for detachably fastening the heel portion of the boot to said second sheath, said cable means including a cable connection (330) to said first sheath and to a pivotal bracket (344) on said second sheath, said bracket being adapted to be pivoted so as to fasten said cable means in a secured tight position about the heel portion of the boot.

3. The ski binding as defined in claim 2, wherein one of said socket and said plug members (12, 14, is attached to said elongated plate (32 while the other of said members is attached to the ski (10).

4. A ski binding for removably attaching a skiers boot to a ski, comprising an interengaging mechanism (FIGS. 1, 13, 16) between the boot (250) and the ski (10), said mechanism having substantially planar engaging portions (12/14, 12'/14, 120/140, 220/240) forward of the heel portion of the boot and rearward of the toe portion of the boot, operatively associated with the boot and the ski, respectively, detent means (60/73, 60/73, 60/176, 60/276, 150/158, 162) forming part of said engaging portions for positive indexing therebetween in the respective planes of said engaging portions as well as in angular directions with respect to the longitudinal axes of the boot and the ski, said engaging portions being adapted to react by relative rotational movement, movement out of said planes of the engaging portions, and a combination of said movements, upon occurrence of a force of predetermined magnitude and duration, thereby allowing release of said engaging portions from each other and of the boot from the ski when the skier encounters a major obstacle which results in said force, wherein said engaging portions include a socket member (14, 14', 140, 240) and a plug member (12, 12' 120, 220), said members being adapted to be resiliently, detachably connected, and resilient means (66, 144) for maintaining said members in connected relation, further comprising at least one rest (26, 28;26',28';126, 128) secured at a distance from said engaging portions, in the direction of the longitudinal extension of the ski, to provide at least one couple for the boot and the ski, respectively, with respect to said engaging portions.

5. A ski binding for removably attaching a skiers boot to a ski, comprising an interengaging mechanism (FIGS. 1, 13, 16) between the boot (250) and the ski (10), said mechanism having substantially planar engaging portions (12/14, 12/14', N140, 220/240) forward of the heel portion of the boot and rearward of the toe portion of the boot, operatively associated with the boot and the ski, respectively, detent means (60/73, 60/73, 60/176, 60/276, /158, 162) forming part of said engaging portions for positive indexing therebetween in the respective planes of said engaging portions as well as in angular directions with respect to the longitudinal axes of the boot and the ski, said engaging portions being adapted to react by relative rotational movement, movement out of said planes of the engaging portions, and a combination of said movements, upon occurrence of a force of predetermined magnitude and duration, thereby allowing release of said engaging portions from-each other and of the boot from the ski when the skier encounters a major obstacle which results in said force, wherein said engaging portions include a socket member (14, 14', 140, 240) and a plug member (12, 12', 120, 220), said members being adapted to be resiliently, detachably interconnected, and resilient means (66, 144) for maintaining said members in connected relation, further comprising at least one rest (26, 28; 26', 28'; 126', 128') secured at a distance from one of said plug and said socket members, in the direction of the longitudinal extension of the ski, to provide at least one fulcrum for the boot and the ski, respectively, with respect to said one member.

6. The ski binding as defined in claim 5, the ski (10) having a geometric center substantially in the middle thereof, further comprising a base plate (16, 298) extending lengthwise of the ski, one of said engaging portions (12, 14, being attached to said base plate, and means (20 24, 25) for adjusting the relative position of said base plate with respect to the ski, and thus the position of a floating point constituted by the interaction of respective engaging portions on the boot and the ski, thereby allowing the skiers boot (250) to be selectively positioned relative to a flexure center of the ski, said geometric center being optionally noncoincident with said flexure center.

7. The ski binding as defined in claim 5, wherein said detent means (60/73, each include at least two detent elements (60/73, 60/73, 60/176, 60/276,

150/158, 162N176) adapted to be matingly interengaged when the boot (250) is operatively connected to the ski further comprising means (66/144) for preloading a detent element in one of said engaging portions (12, 14, with respect to a complementary detent element in the other of said engaging portions, said preloading means including said resilient means (66, 144), and wherein said force adjusting means includes at least one member (76, 176, 276) for selectively presetting the force of said preloading means.

8. The ski binding as defined in claim 5, wherein said socket member (14') is integrally formed with the boot (250) while said plug member (12, 12', is attached to the ski (10).

9. The ski binding as defined in claim 5, further comprising at least three spaced-apart detent elements (60, 150) on one of said socket and said plug members (12, 14, and a corresponding number of symmetrically disposed recesses (73, 73, 158) on the other of said members, for receiving said elements in the detented position of said members.

10. The ski binding as defined in claim 9, wherein the spacing between adjoining ones of said detent elements (60, 150) and of said recesses (73, 73', 158) is unequal.

11. The ski binding as defined in claim 5, further comprising an intermediate plate (32, 32') extending lengthwise of the boot (250), said one member (14, 14') being attached to said intermediate plate, and means (34, 44) for removably attaching the boot to said intermediate plate.

12. The ski binding as defined in claim 39, wherein said at least one rest (126', 128') is provided on said intermediate plate (32) in close proximity with the ski (10) to act as a fulcrum therefor with respect to the boot.

13. The ski binding as defined in claim 5, wherein said at least one rest (26, 28; 26', 28') is provided on the ski (10) in close proximity with the skiers boot (250) to act as a fulcrum therefor with respect to the ski.

14. The ski binding as defined in claim 5, wherein said socket member (140) is of generally annular form, having at least two inwardly directed passages (142), an adjustable spring element (144) and a detent element (150) in each passage, said detent elements being lodged more inwardly than said spring elements, and means (148) for restraining said detent elements in said passages to limited movement in a direction inwardly from said socket member, said detent elements being urged inwardly by said spring elements.

15. The ski binding as defined in claim 14, wherein said inwardly directed passages (142) slope away, within the plane of said interengaging mechanism, at a slight angle from a radial direction toward the center portion of said socket member (140).

16. The ski binding as defined in claim 14, wherein said restraining means is constituted by at least two apertures (148) in said socket member (140), adjoining said detent elements (150), said apertures having a diameter less than that of said detent elements.

17. The ski binding as defined in claim 5, wherein said plug member (12, 12, 120, 220) is of generally annular form, having at least two outwardly directed passages (54), a spring element (66), constituting said resilient means and a detent element (60) in each passage, said spring elements being lodged more inwardly than said detent elements, and means (58) for restraining said detent elements in said passages to limited movement in a direction outwardly from said plug member, and means (62, 76, 176, 276 279) associated with the inner ends of said passages for adjusting the compressive force of said spring elements.

18. The ski binding as defined in claim 17, wherein said passages (54) slope away, within the plane of said interengaging mechanism, at a slight angle from a radial direction toward the inner portion of said plug member (12, 12').

19. The ski binding as defined in claim 17, wherein said socket member (14, 14', 120, 220) is of generally annular form, the inside diameter of which is large enough to receive said plug member (12, 12', 120, 220), and further comprising at least two recesses (73) about the inner periphery of said socket member for receiving said detent elements (60), thereby to hold said plug member to said socket member.

20. The ski binding as defined in claim 17, wherein said restraining means is in the form of an annular member (56) encircling said plug member (12) about the outer ends of said passages (54), said annular member being provided with holes of somewhat smaller diameters than those of said passages.

21. The ski binding as defined in claim 17, wherein said force adjusting means includes a screw (76, 176, 276) centrally disposed in said plug member (12, 12), adapted to bear against the inner ends of said spring elements (66) and compress them substantially in proportion to the axial movement of said screw.

22. The ski binding as defined in claim 21, further comprising tapered segment members (62) disposed between said inner ends of the spring elements (66) and said screw (76, 176, 276), the latter having a tapered surface complementary to the tapered surfaces of said segment members.

23. A ski binding for removably attaching a skiers boot to a ski, comprising an interengaging mechanism (FlGS. 1, 13, 16) between the boot (250) and the ski (10), said mechanism having substantially planar engaging portions (/140) forward of the heel portion of the boot and rearward of the toe portion of the boot, operatively associated with the boot and the ski, respectively, detent means (60/176) forming part of said engaging portions for positive indexing therebetween in the respective planes of said engaging portions as well as in angular directions with respect to the longitudinal axes of the boot and the ski, said engaging portions being adapted to react by relative rotational movement, movement out of said planes of the engaging portions, and a combination of said movements, upon occurrence of a force of predetermined magnitude and duration, thereby allowing release of said engaging portions from each other and of the boot from the ski when the skier encounters a major obstacle which results in said force, wherein said engaging portions include a socket member and a plug member (120), said members being adapted to be resiliently, detachably interconnected, and resilient means (144) for maintaining said members in connected relation, further wherein said socket member is of generally annular form, having at least two inwardly directed passages (142), an adjustable spring element (144), constituting said resilient means, and a detent element (150) in each passage, said detent elements being lodged more inwardly than said spring elements, and means (148) for restraining said detent elements in said passages to limited movement in a direction inwardly from said socket member, said detent elements being urged inwardly by said spring elements, and wherein said restraining means is constituted by at least two apertures (148) in said socket member (140), adjoining said detent elements (150), said apertures having a diameter less than that of said detent elements, and finally wherein said plug member is in the general form of a disc having at least two detent recesses (158) for receiving said detent elements, and grooves (160) in the side wall of said disc for facilitating movement of said elements between detented and separated positions.

24. A ski binding for removably attaching a skiers boot to a ski, comprising an interengaging mechanism (FIGS. 1, 13, 16) between the boot (250) and the ski said mechanism having substantially planar engaging portions (12/14, 12714, 120/140, 220/240) forward of the heel portion of the boot and rearward of the toe portion of the boot, operatively associated with the boot and the ski, respectively, detent means (60/73, 60//73', 60/176, 60/276, 150/158, 162) forming part of said engaging portions for positive indexing therebetween in the respective planes of said engaging portions as well as in angular directions with respect to the longitudinal axes of the boot and the ski, said engaging portions being adapted to react by relative rotational movement, movement out of said planes of the engaging portions, and a combination of said movements, upon occurrence of a force of predetermined magnitude and duration, thereby allowing release of said engaging portions from each other and of the boot from the ski when'the skier encounters a major obstacle which results in said force, wherein said engaging portions include a socket member (14, 14', 140, 240) and a plug member (12, 12, 120, 220), said members being adapted to be resiliently, detachably interconnected, and resilient means (66, 144) for maintaining said members in connected relation, and wherein said plug member is of generally annular form, having at least two outwardly directed passages (54), a spring element (66), constituting said resilient means, and a detent element (60) in each passage, said spring elements being lodged more inwardly than said detent elements, and means (58) for restraining said detent elements in said passages to limited movement in a direction outwardly from said plug member, and means (62, 76, 176, 276 to 279) associated with the inner ends of said passages for adjusting the compressive force of said spring elements, and finally wherein said detent elements are spheres, and the inner wall of said socket member includes a pair of complementary grooves (02, a, b) extending to the open from said recesses, for facilitating movement of said spheres between detented and separated positions.

25. A ski binding. for removably attaching a skiers boot to a ski, comprising an interengaging mechanism (FIGS. 1, 13, 16) between the boot (250) and the ski (10), said mechanism having substantially planar en- 7 gaging portions (12/14, 12'/14, N140, 220/240) forward of the heel portion of the boot and rearward of the toe portion of the boot, operatively associated with the boot andthe ski, respectively, detent means (60/73, 60/73, 60/176, 60/276, /158, 162) forming part of said engaging portions for positive indexing therebetween in the respective planes of said engaging portions as well as in angular directions with respect to the longitudinal axes of the boot and the ski, said engaging portions being adapted to react by relative rotational movement, movement out of said planes of the engaging portions, and a combination of said movements, upon occurrence of a force of predetermined magnitude and duration, thereby allowing release of said engaging portions from each other and of the boot from the ski when the skier encounters a major obstacle which results in said force, wherein said engaging portions include a socket member (14, 14', 140, 240) and a plug member (12, 12, 120, 220), said members being adapted to be resiliently, detachably interconnected, and resilient means (66, 144) for maintaining said members in connected relation, and wherein said plug member is of generally annular form, having at least two outwardly directed passages (54), a spring element (66), constituting said resilient means, and a detent element (60) in each passage, said spring elements being lodged more inwardly than said detent elements, and means (58) for restraining said detent elements in said passages to limited movement in a direction outwardly from said plug member, and means (62, 76, 176, 276 to 279) associated with the inner ends of said passages for adjusting the compressive force of said spring elements, and finally wherein said plug member includes at least one pair of levers having terminal detent portions (182) while said socket member includes at least one pair of apertures (242, 250a) for receiving said detent portions, and further comprising biasing means (66, 162) in said plug member for urging said detent portions in engagement with said apertures.

26. A ski binding for removably attaching a skiers boot to a ski, comprising an intererigaging mechanism (FIGS. 1, 13, 16) between the boot (250) and the ski (10), said mechanism having substantially planar engaging portions (12/14, 12I14, 120/140, 220/240) forward of the heel portion of the boot and rearward of the toe portion of the boot, operatively associated with the boot and the ski, respectively, detent means (60/7 3, 60l/73, 60/176, 60/276, 150/158, 162) forming part of said engaging portions for positive indexing therebetween in the respective planes of said engaging portions as well as in angular directions with respect to the longitudinal axes of the boot and the ski, said engaging portions being adapted to react by relative rotational movement, movement out of said planes of the engaging portions, and a combination of said movements, upon occurrence of a force of predetermined magnitude and duration, thereby allowing release of said engaging portions from each other and of the boot from the ski when the skier encounters a major obstacle which results in said force, wherein said engaging portions include a socket member (14, 14', 140, 240) and a plug member (12, 12 120, 220), said members being adapted to be resiliently, detachably interconnected, and resilient means (66, 144) for maintaining

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Classifications
U.S. Classification280/613
International ClassificationA63C9/086, A63C9/08
Cooperative ClassificationA63C9/08, A63C9/086
European ClassificationA63C9/086, A63C9/08