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Publication numberUS3731917 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 8, 1973
Filing dateFeb 25, 1971
Priority dateFeb 25, 1971
Publication numberUS 3731917 A, US 3731917A, US-A-3731917, US3731917 A, US3731917A
InventorsR Townsend
Original AssigneeTownsend Engineering Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Treadmill exercising device
US 3731917 A
Abstract
A treadmill exercising device comprising first and second spaced apart rollers mounted on a frame so that they are each rotatable with respect to a horizontal axis. An endless belt extends around and between the rollers and includes an upper walking belt portion which slides upon a smooth, highly polished, heat resistance support surface as a person walks on the upper walking belt portion. Additional features are provided for varying the speed of the belt and for maintaining the proper tension in the same. To vary the speed, removable sprockets of different size are provided. The treadmill is operated by an electric motor which is directly connected to a knurled or serrated drive roller to prevent belt slippage.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United'States Patent 1 1 Townsend May 8, 1973 Iowa [73] Assignee Townsend Engineering Company, Des Moines, Iowa 22 Filed: Feb. 25, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 118,861

[52] US. Cl ..272/69, 272/D1G. 4, 272/D1G. 5 [51] Int. 'Cl. ..A63b 23/06 [58] Field of Search ..119/29; 198/184,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,824,406 9/1931 Petersime ..272/69 3,572,699 3/1971 Nies ..272/73 3,602,054 8/1971 Monteith et al.. 74/242.l5 R X 1,082,940 12/1913 Flora ..272/69 3,050,178 8/1962 Stone ..198/203 2,007,910 7/1935 Stephens ..198/184 X 2,802,235 8/1957 Brown l ..192/135 X 3,181,688 5/1965 Schenner ..198/203 X 3,379,437 4/1968 Warner ..272/69 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 384,019 12/1933 GreatBritain ..272/69 382,340 10/1932 GreatBritain ..272/69 Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinkham Assistant ExaminerR. T. Stouffer Attorney-Zarley, McKee & Thomte [57] ABSTRACT A treadmill exercising device comprising first and second spaced apart rollers mounted on a frame so that they are each rotatable with respect to a horizontal axis. An endless belt extends around and between the rollers and includes an upper walking belt portion which slides upon a smooth, highly polished, heat resistance support surface as a person walks on the upper walking belt portion. Additional features are provided for varying the speed of the belt and for maintaining the proper tension in the same. To vary the speed, removable sprockets of different size are provided. The treadmill is operated by an electric motor which is directly connected to a knurled or serrated drive roller to prevent belt slippage.

4 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHAY 81913 7 3,731,917

SHEET 3 [1F 3 Mum/me IOWA/1 9 3 TREADMILL EXERCISING DEVICE Conventional treadmills usually have a belt which extends between a pair of end rollers, with a plurality of belt supporting rollers therebetween. The conventional treadmill exercising devices do not have any convenient means for adjusting the speed thereof. Further, the belts of the conventional treadmill exercising devices frequently slip on the rollers which seriously detracts from their efficiency. Additionally, the conventional devices do not include means for de-energizing the power if the motor housing is opened.

Therefore, it is a principal object of this invention to provide an improved treadmill exercising device.

A further object of this invention is to provide a treadmill exercising device having an odometer thereon.

A further object of this invention is to provide a treadmill exercising device having a positive drive which prevents slippage between the drive roller and the belt.

A further object of this invention is to provide a treadmill exercising device including a Formica deck which supports the walking belt area.

A further object of this invention is to provide a treadmill exercising device the speed of which may be conveniently changed.

A further object of this invention is to provide a treadmill exercising device having a safety switch which de-energizes the device when the motor cover is opened.

A further object of this invention is to provide a treadmill exercising device including an adjustable belt.

A further object of this invention is to provide a treadmill exercising device including a smooth, highly polished, heat-resistant deck which supports the walking belt area.

A further object of this invention is to provide a treadmill exercising device having a knurled or serrated driver roller.

A further object of this invention is to provide a treadmill exercising device including a means of direct drive to impart a fly wheel effect to the device.

A further object of this invention is to provide a treadmill exercising device which is economical of manufacture, durable in use and refined in appearance.

These and other objects will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

This invention consists in the construction, arrangements and combination of the various parts of the device, whereby the objects contemplated are attained as hereinafter more fully set forth, specifically pointed out in the claims, and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the device of this invention with the broken lines indicating the open position of the motor and drive mechanism cover.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the device with portions thereof cut away to more fully illustrate the invention;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view seen along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view seen along lines 4-4 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view seen along lines 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view seen along lines 6-6 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged sectional view seen along lines 7-7 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged sectional view seen along lines 88 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 9 is a schematic diagram of the electrical circuitry of this invention;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the device illustrating the adjustable feet for varying the incline;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken along line 11-1 1 of FIG. 2, but illustrating the legs in place for use of the device;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view illustrating the device in a folded position with broken lines indicating the partially foldedposition of the handrail;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the device illustrat ing how it can be stored in a vertical position; and

FIG. 14 is a sectional view taken along line l4-14 of FIG. 2.

The exercising device of this invention is generally designated by the reference numeral 10 and includes a frame means 12 comprising spaced apart channels 14 and 16 interconnected by a plurality of angle members 18. An end channel 19 crosses the right end of frame means 12 as viewed in FIGS. 3 and 4. An inverted U- shaped handrail 20 is mounted at its lower ends to frame means 12 (FIGS. 4 and 5) and extends upwardly through a flat support means 22 which is secured to the upper ends of channels 14 and 16 by screws 24 and extends therebetween.

Referring to FIGS. 3-5, the lower ends of handrail 20 slidably extend through apertures 25 in support means 22. The extreme lower tips of handrail 20 are tube-like and are each adapted to slidably fit over a positioner 27. Positioner 27 is bolted to angle 18 by a bolt 29 and includes a somewhat conical shape at its upper end for guiding the lower ends of handrail 20 into position. Positioner 27 and the margins of aperture 25 thus cooperate to hold handrail 20 rigidly in position while at the same time permitting removal of handrail 20 by upward sliding movement thereof.

A driven roller 26 (FIG. 8) is rotatably mounted about a horizontal axis at one end of the frame means 12 and is adjustably supported at its outer ends by tensioning means 28 and 28 respectively. Since tensioning means 28 and 28 are identical, only tensioning means 28 will be described in detail wit indicating identical structure on tensioning means 28'. As seen in FIG. 8, a support angle 30 is secured to the inside vertical wall surface 32 of channel 14 by welding or the like. One end of roller shaft 34 is supported on the horizontal flange 36 of angle 30 and terminates adjacent the inside vertical wall surface 32. The upper end of shaft 34, adjacent one end thereof, has a flat portion 38 which slidably engages the underside of top flange 30 of channel 14. An adjustment bolt 42 threadably extends through shaft M and extends transversely therefrom through a shield 414 provided on the end of the channel M. Knob 46 is secured to bolt 42 for threadably rotating bolt 42 with respect to shaft 341 to selectively move shaft 34 longitudinally with respect to channel 14. Tensioning means 28 is provided for selectively moving the other end of shaft 34 with respect to channel 16. The driven roller 26 is rotatably mounted on the shaft 34 as indicated by broken lines in FIG. 8.

Frame means 12 includes a vertically disposed wall 50 adjacent one end thereof as seen in FIGS. 2 and 3. Motor 52 is operatively secured to a support plate 23 on frame means 12 between the channels 14 and 16 adjacent wall 50 and includes a drive shaft 54 extending therefrom. Drive shaft 54 has a hub 56 (FIG. 6) mounted thereon for rotation therewith by means of a set screw 58. Hub 56 rotatably extends through wall 50 as seen in FIG. 6. Hub 56 includes a threaded end portion 60 adapted to threadably receive a nut 62 thereon as also illustrated in FIG. 6. Hub 56 has a pin 64 extending therefrom which is adapted to be received in a registering opening of a sprocket 66 so as to prevent relative rotational movement between the sprocket 66 and hub 56. Washer 68 is positioned between the inner end of nut 62 and the outer surface of sprocket 66. Chain 70 extends around sprocket 66 and also extends around a sprocket 72 (FIGS. 2 and 3) which is mounted on one end of shaft 74.

The numeral 76 refers generally to an idler assembly for maintaining the proper tension in the chain 70. As seen in FIG. 7, idler sprocket 78 is rotatably mounted on a shaft 80 provided at one end of arm 82. Idler sprocket 78 engages the chain 70 in conventional fashion. Collar 84 is welded to the other end of arm 82 and has a threaded opening 86 extending therethrough which registers with threaded opening 88 of arm 82. The numeral 90 refers to a bolt having a head portion 92 including a lever 94 secured thereto and extending transversely therefrom as illustrated in FIG. 7. Bolt 92 is adapted to be threadably received in the threaded openings 86 and 88 to maintain the arm 82 in its desired position as will be explained in more detail hereinafter. A flat washer 96 embraces bolt 90 outwardly of wall 50 and a lock washer 98 is positioned between the flat washer 96 and the head portion 92 of bolt 90. Thus, the bolt 90 may be threadably loosened with respect to the collar 84 and arm 82 by means of the lever 94 so that the arm 82 can be pivotally moved to properly position the idler sprocket 78 in the necessary position so as to maintain adequate slack or tension in the chain 70. When the arm 82 is properly positioned, the bolt 90 is again tightened by means of the lever 94 so as to draw the end of collar 84 into engagement with the inside surface of wall 50 and to force the flat washer 96 into engagement with the exterior surface of wall 50. The idler sprocket assembly provides a convenient means for changing the position of the idler sprocket which would be necessary when the sprocket 66 is changed.

A drive roller 100 is mounted on the shaft 74 for rotation therewith and is provided with a knurled or serrated peripheral surface 102 so as to prevent slippage between the roller 100 and the belt 104 which extends around and between the rollers 26 and 100. The opposite ends of shaft 74 are suitably rotatably mounted in wall 50 and channel 14.

The flat support means 22 comprises a flat support member or deck which is secured to the upper ends of the channels 14 and 16 by screws 24 and which is positioned between the rollers 26 and 100 as illustrated in FIG. 3. Deck 106 is provided with a smooth, highly polished heat-resistant sheet member 110 on its upper surface upon which the belt 104 slides. Sheet member 110 is preferably comprised of a material designated as Formica. Belt guides 112 and 114 are provided adjacent the roller 100 to properly position the belt on the rollers with the belt guide 112 being more clearly illustrated in FIG. 2.

Motor cover 116 is connected to the frame means 12 and is adapted to extend over the motor, sprockets, etc. to enclose the same. A switch 118 is provided on frame means 12 and is closed when the cover 116 is closed but which is opened when the cover 116 is opened to the position illustrated by broken lines in FIG. 1. FIG. 9 illustrates the electrical circuitry of the device wherein the numeral 120 refers generally to a source of 110 volt alternating current power. As seen in FIG. 9, switch 118 is series connected with the key operated switch 122 and the motor 52 so that the motor 52 can only be energized when the switch 118 is closed and the key operated switch 122 is closed.

During use of exercising device 10 it is sometimes desirable to have supporting surface 22 in a slightly inclined position. A pair of removable legs 126 (FIGS. 10, 11 and 14) are provided for this purpose. Legs 126 are each comprised of a circular cylinder 128 having a rubber foot 130 on its lower end. Legs 126 are normally stored as shown in FIGS. 2 and 14. A bolt 130 extends upwardly through support plate 23, then through a spacer block 132 on top of support plate 23, then through a hold-down bracket 133, then through a T- shaped washer 134 which is seated within a plurality of various sized sprockets 136 which may be substituted for sprocket 66 so as to vary the speed at which drive roller 100 is driven. A wing nut 138 is threaded on the extreme upper end of bolt 130. Legs 126 are placed under hold-down bracket 133 on opposite sides of spacer block 132. Tightening of wing nut 138 causes bracket 133 to secure legs 126 in place, and loosening of wing nut 138 permits the removal of legs 126 and sprockets 136 from under bracket 133.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 11, a vertically disposed leg receiving channel 140 is secured within each of the opposite ends of end channel 19. Leg receiving channel 140 is U-shaped in cross section with the open end of the U facing end channel 10. The bottom of channel 19 is cut away at 142 (FIG. 11) so as to permit leg 126 to be slidably inserted in the space between leg receiving channel 140 and end channel 19.

Thus legs 126 can be removed from under holddown bracket 133 and inserted within leg receiving channels 140 with a minimum of time and effort. A pair of shorter feet 144 are provided at the opposite end of exercising device 10 so that when legs 126 are inserted they cause the upper surface of support plate 23 to be inclined slightly.

The device is used by a person by simply operating the key operated switch 122 which causes the energization of the motor 52 so that the drive roller causes the belt 104 which is preferably a three ply canvas belt, to move between the rollers 100 and 26. The person using the device walks upon the upper walking belt area while grasping the handrail 20. The belt slides upon the Formica surface 1 10 and this surface provides a smooth highly polished surface for the belt to slide upon which reduces the friction therebetween thereby preventing heat build-up in the belt and also resulting in less power being needed to operate the belt. Formica is heat resistant.

The odometer 124 is operatively connected to the drive roller 100 and provides a visual indication of the distance that the person has walked. The speed of the belt may be easily changed by simply substituting a larger or smaller sprocket for the sprocket 66. The sprocket 66 is easily removed by simply loosening the nut 62 to permit the washer 68 and sprocket 66 to be removed from the hub 56. The desired sprocket is then installed on the hub 56 with washer 68 and nut 62 being replaced. The idler sprocket assembly 76 would be loosened to permit the removal of the chain 70 from the sprocket 66 to permit the sprocket 66 to be removed. When the desired sprocket has been placed on the hub 56, the idler sprocket assembly 76 would again be positioned as previously described. Since odometer 124 is connected to drive roller 100, it is desirable to use various sprockets to change the speed of drive roller 100 while at the same time maintaining an accurate record of distance and speed.

The knurled or serrated surface 102 prevents slippage between the drive roller 100 and the belt. The chain and sprocket connection of the motor 52 with the drive roller 100 provides a positive direct drive so that the device will operate in an efficient manner. The direct drive connection of the motor with the belt provides a fly wheel effect to further enhance the operation of the device. The tensioning means 28 and 28' may be adjusted to maintain the proper tension and adjustment in the belt 104 as required.

The device of the present invention is particularly easy to store and occupies a minimum of space during storage. To store the device, handrail 20 is lifted out of apertures 25 and thereby removed from device 10. The opposite legs of handrail 20 are then slidably inserted under flat support means 22 as shown in FIGS. 12 and 13. A pair of spaces 146 (FIG. 4) is provided on the opposite lateral edges of belt 104 for receiving the op posite legs of handrail 20. Removable legs 126 are placed under hold-down bracket 133, motor cover 116 is secured in place, and device 16 is ready for storage. As can be seen in FIG. 13, device can be stored in a vertical position leaning against a wall so as to take up a minimum of storage space. A pair of feet 145 are provided to facilitate this vertical storage.

The present treadmill simulates actual walking or jogging on a smooth level surface (or a slightly inclined one if legs 126 are used). This is accomplished by {l a direct chain drive from motor 52 to drive roller 100; (2) the use of a knurled drive roller to cause positive driving of the belt; and (3) the use of a flat smooth supporting surface for the belt and the use of a belt having a flat smooth backing so as to minimize the friction therebetween.

Thus it can be seen that an extremely efficient and novel treadmill exercising device has been provided which accomplishes at least all of its stated objectives.

I claim:

1. A treadmill exercising device, comprising,

a frame means,

at least a drive roller and a driven roller on said frame means rotatable about horizontal axes,

an endless belt means extending around and between said roller defining a treadmill belt means,

an electric motor mounted on said frame means at one end thereof and having a drive shaft, a first sprocket means mounted on said drive shaft for rotation therewith,

a second sprocket means secured to said drive roller at one end thereof,

a chain means extending around and between said first and second sprocket means,

an idler sprocket means selectively movably mounted on said frame means in engagement with said chain means,

' said first sprocket means having mounting means thereon for quickly removing said first sprocket means whereby the speed of said belt means may be varied by substituting further sprocket means for said first sprocket means,

a housing removably mounted on said frame means for enclosing said electric motor, first and second sprocket means, chain means and idler sprocket means during the operation of the device, said housing being removable to permit said first sprocket means to be selectively replaced and to permit the selective adjustment of said idler sprocket means.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein a switch means is mounted on said frame means which is engageable by said housing when said housing is enclosing said electric motor, first and second sprocket means, chain means and idler sprocket means, said switch means being electrically connected to said electric motor for de-energizing said, electric motor when said housing is moved to expose said electric motor, first and second sprocket means, chain means and idler sprocket means.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein a key operated switch means is electrically connected to said electric motor so that said electric motor will only be energized when said key operated switch is closed.

4. the device of claim 11 wherein said second sprocket means has a diameter .which is greater than the diameter of said drive roller so that said second sprocket means also serves as a fly wheel for said drive roller.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification482/4, 482/54
International ClassificationA63B22/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2210/50, A63B22/0257, A63B22/0023, A63B22/02
European ClassificationA63B22/00B4, A63B22/02B2B, A63B22/02