US 3784216 A
A binding to releasably attach a boot to a ski which facilitates release of the boot with the heel of the boot fastened to the ski or with the heel of the boot free to rotate above the ski about the toe of the boot above the ski. The binding includes a pin assembly mountable to the ski and a socket assembly which rotatably and releasably engages the pin assembly and which receives and carries the toe of the boot. In operation, the boot is biased into the socket assembly and when a force is applied to the boot overcoming the bias, the boot is released from the ski to prevent injury to the skier.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
tlnited States Patent [191 Maier, Jr.
[ RELEASABLE SKI BINDING  Inventor: Roe J. Maier, Jr., Rt. 1, Box 704A,
Albuquerque, N. Mex. 87105  Filed: Mar. 2, 1972  Appl. No 231,211
 US. Cl. 280/1L35 D  Int. Cl. A63c 9/08  Field of Search 280/1135 A, 11.35 D,
280/11.35 E, 11.35 R, 11.35 T, 11.35 P, 11.35 Q, 11.35 H, 11.35 S, 11.35 Z
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,491,485 12/1949 Durham 280/11.35 K 3,379,447 4/1968 Webster 280/11.35 T
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,120,333 2/1953 Germany 280/1 1.35 R
[ Jan.8, 1974 167,518 l/l951 Austria 280/11.35 A
Primary Examiner-Kenneth H. Betts Assistant ExaminerMilton L. Smith Att0rneyRichard A. Bachand  ABSTRACT A binding to releasably attach a boot to a ski which facilitates release of the boot with the heel of the boot fastened to the ski or with the heel of the boot free to rotate above the ski about the toe of the boot above the ski. The binding includes a pin assemblymountable to the ski and a socket assembly which rotatably and releasably engages the pin assembly and which receives and carries the toe of the boot. In operation, the boot is biased into the socket assembly and when a force is applied to the boot overcoming the bias, the boot is released from the ski to prevent injury to the skier.
9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures RELEASABLE SKI BINDING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Many different types of ski-to-boot bindings or attachments have been widely used to hold a skiers boot in contact with his ski, a particular binding being appropriate depending upon the type of the skis, the type of terrain on which the skis are used, and so forth. For example, in many downhill" type skis the heel of the skiers boot may be securely fastened to the ski. On the other hand, on many cross-country type skis, a choice of operating modes may be provided in which the boot may be selectively attached at its heel for maximum ski control, such as for downhill skiing, or re leased at its heel but hinged at its toe to rotate above the ski, for uphill or walking-type ski movement.
To achieve such selective attachment, in many bindings used upon cross-country skis heretofore proposed, a hinge affixed on one side to the ski and on the other side to the toe of the skiers boot is included. A cable loop is generally provided which runs from a location in front of the boot, along the edge of the ski adjacent and under the boot, encircling the heel of the boot, then running back along the opposite edge of the ski to its beginning point; a lever, perhaps in combination with one or more springs, are also usually provided to enable the tension in the cable to be controlled. A number of clips may also be provided along the edge of the ski to secure the cable and maintain its position, one pair of clips generally being located on opposite sides of the ski adjacent the heel of the boot. Thus, the cable may be located within the clips and placed in tension to securely hold the heel of the boot adjacent the ski; alternatively, the cable may be released from the clips near the heel and placed in tension to enable the boot to be rotated about its toe above the ski.
On such cross-country skis, however, there often is not adequate provision to release the boot in the event the skier should fall, or otherwise place torsional forces upon the ski, especially in modes in which the heel is I BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In light of the above, it is, therefore, an object of the invention to provide a binding for fastening a boot to a ski.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a binding for fastening a boot to a ski which is compatible with existing fastening and binding equipment.
It is yet a further object of the invention to provide a binding for securing a boot to a ski which releasably attaches the boot to the ski.
It is yet a further object of the invention to provide a binding for releasably attaching a boot to a ski, which is functional either with the heel of the boot secured to the ski or free to rotate. 1
It is yet another object of the invention to provide a binding for releasably attaching a boot to a ski which facilitates rotation of the boot about its toe.
These and other objects, features, and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and appended claims. 7
In accordance with the invention, in its broad aspect, the invention includes means for pivotally and releasably attaching a ski boot toe to a ski, whereby if the skier should fall or exert a transverse force to the normal allowable direction of rotation of the boot, the boot will be released from the ski. More particularly, the ski binding, in accordance with the invention, includes a first plate member having a capability of carrying a boot or into which a boot may be biased by springs, cables, or the like. Outwardly extending from and carried by the first plate is at least one cam socket to facilitate the release. Also provided is a second plate mountable onto a ski, having a cam carried thereupon to interfit the socket carried by the first plate. In operation, as a force is exerted other than about the axis of rotation of the cam, the cam pulls apart and the boot is freed from the ski.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the mounting cams, in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of one of the mounting cams of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a side view of a boot in operating position upon a ski, incorporating therein apparatus in accordance withthe invention.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view, partially cut away, of an alternate embodiment of the apparatus of this invention.
In the figures of the drawing, various parts have been exaggerated in size or dimension for ease of description and clarity of illustration. In the various figures of the drawing, like reference numbers are used to denote like or corresponding parts.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In accordance with the principles of the invention, a releasable cam assembly to enable a boot to be carried by a ski to facilitate release of the boot with its heel either fastened or free is presented. As shown in the drawings, and particularly in perspective view of FIG.
1, the cam assembly includes two main portions, a pin assembly 10 and a socket assembly 11. Although the cam assembly is described with intended application with the pin assembly 10 attachable to the ski and the socket assembly 11 attachable or connectable to the boot, it is understood that their respective roles may be reversed and the socket assembly 11 attached to the ski and the pin assembly connectable to the boot.
The pin asembly 10 includes a plate 12 or the like mountable directly onto a ski (see FIG. 3). To facilitate such mounting, holes 13 may be provided by which the plate 12 may be screwed, bolted onto the ski, or if desired, the plate 12 may be glued or otherwise affixed to the ski. A cylinder 14 having pins 16 and 17 of smaller diameter extending outwardly from the end portions of the cylinder 14 is carried upon the vplate l2. Tapers 18 and 19 are formed respectively between the cylinder 14 and the smaller cylinder 16 and 17 to assure-release, as described below in detail.
A second plate 20 is provided to carry the boot of the skier. The boot may, for example, be insertable at the toe portion of the sole under lips or overhangs 21 and 22, to thereby grasp the boot. Other means for receiving the boot to the plate 20 may be used to equal advantage as the lips or overhangs 21 and 22, such other boot receiving means being well known in the art and not described herein in detail. Upstanding from the plate 20 is a second plate 25, which may be conveniently an extension of the plate 20 bent at right angles to the overall plate 20, as shown, or, alternatively, may be an entirely separate plate welded or otherwise joined to the base plate 20. As illustrated, the upstanding plate 25 has two ears 26 and 27 bent at right angles to it. Formed in each of the cars 26 and 27 are similar, facing sockets 28 and 29 to receive the respective cylinders l6 and 17 and their tapers 18 and 19 of the pin assembly 10.
As shown more particularly in FIG. 2, the interior of the socket 29 is of essentially frusto conical configuration truncated, for example, in approximately one-half thereby to receive the cylinder 17 in the opening 32 near the top thereof. The frusto-conical portion 33 receives the taper 19 between the smaller cylinder 17 and the larger cylinder l4 to define a bearing surface to enable the cylinder 14 and the entire pin assembly 10 on which it is carried to rotate therewithin.
Thus, in operation, as shown in FIG. 3, the pin assembly l and the socket assembly 11, in accordance with the invention, may be mounted to a ski 35 at the location at which the toe 36 of a ski boot 37 is ordinarily positioned. Additionally provided may be the ordinary ski binding cable 40 which may be selectively tightened or loosened by lever 41. Thus, with the cable 40 in the tightened position illustrated, positioned around the boot and looped, for example, over the heel 42 of the boot 37, the boot 37 is biased or pulled toward the front of the ski into connection with the socket assembly 11, and is thereby held in position in the socket assembly 11.
Likewise the cable 40 biases the socket assembly 11 into engagement with the pin assembly to thereby maintain the connected relationship therebetween, unless a force in excess of the bias pressure is applied in a direction other than the direction of rotation of the pin assembly 10 within the socket assembly 11.
The operation of the socket assembly of the invention, except for the breakaway aspect thereof, is essentially the same as the operation of the devices of the prior art. That is, the cable 40 may be looped under clips 43 and 44 (corresponding clips on the opposite side of the ski 35 not shown), as illustrated, to thereby hold the heel of the boot 37 onto or adjacent the ski 35. In the position illustrated, the boot 37 is forwardly biased, as above mentioned, to be carried by the socket assembly 11. Also in this position, as is well known to those experienced with skiing techniques, the greatest degree of control may be achieved by the skier of his ski 37, pressure being exertable by both the heel and toe of the boot 37.
When the cable 40 is released from the rear clip 44, yet maintained in tension, the boot will be rotatable above its toe; that is, the heel of the boot may be raised or rotated in a plane extended directly upwardly from the ski 35. As mentioned above, the rotation about the toe 36 will be facilitated by the sockets 28 and 29, the interfitting cylinders 16 and 17 and the bearing created by the tapers l8 and 19 within the frusto-conical shape of the sockets 28 and 29. As in the case with the heel fastened down, discussed above, the cable 40, released from the clip 43, remains in tension encircling the boot 37, thereby biasing the toe of the boot 37 into the socket assembly 1], and the socket assembly 11 into the pin assembly 10 in the same manner as above described.
Thus, it can be seen, that with the heel 42 released from engagement with the ski 35, the cable 40, in tension, maintains the engagement of the socket assembly 11 upon the pin assembly 10 regardless of the angle to which the boot 37 is rotated about its toe 36.
In either operational mode, that is, with the heel 42 fastened down or rotatable, the boot 37 and the socket assembly 11 will be released from the ski 35 upon application ofa force overcoming the bias of the cable 40, especially in a direction other than the force which may be applied in ordinary rotation of the boot. For example, if the skier should fall and exert a twisting force onto the boot, the boot 37 and socket assembly 11 will be released from its engagement with the ski by virtue of the releasability from the pin assembly 10 from the socket assembly 11.
It should be understood that although the socket connection has been illustrated with the smaller pin or cylinder portion 16 and 17 outwardly extending from the larger cylinder 14, and engaged by frusto-conical shaped sockets with the smaller portions thereof outwardly extending, that the smaller pin portion may be cut from an inside portion of the cylinder 14 with the direction of the frusto-conically shaped sockets reversed. Such an alternate embodiment is illustrated in H0. 4, wherein a pin assembly 50 is adapted to be engaged by a socket assembly 51. The pin assembly 50 consists essentially of a cylinder 52 having an intermediate portion 53 of reduced diameter joined to the remainder of the cylinder 52 by inwardly tapered portions 54 and 55. The socket assembly 51 includes an upstanding plate 56 provided with forwardly extending ears 57 and 58 having formed therein frusto-conical sockets 59 and 60. It will be noted that the sockets 59 and 60 now face away from each other in such a manner as to receive therein tapered portions 54 and 55 respectively of cylinder 52. Other releasable socket configurations, additionally, will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the instant disclosure, since although it has been made and illustrated with a certain degree of particularity, it has been intended by way of example only, and that numerous changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.
What is claimed is:
l. A ski binding comprising:
a first plate member attachable to a ski;
a cylinder carried upon said first plate member of first diameter along a center portion and second smaller diameter adjacent its end portions;
a second plate member for carrying a boot;
a pair of cylinder engaging portions carried upon said second plate into which said end portions may be transversely, pivotally and removably inserted, whereby when said boot is carried upon said second plate the toe of the boot is located adjacent said cylinder engaging portions;
and means for biasing said end portions into inserted position with said cylinder engaging portions,
whereby the boot is pivotally movable about the axis of said cylinder, and is released from said cylinder upon application of a force overcoming the bias of said biasing means.
2. The ski binding of claim 1 wherein said cylinder includes a taper between its first and second diameters.
3. The ski binding of claim 2 wherein said two cylinder engaging portions are each of truncated, fru'stoconical shape, being hollow-therewithin to receive the taper between said first and second diameters of said cylinder. v
4. A releasable ski binding comprising:
a. a first plate member mountable contiguously with the upper surface of a ski adjacent the ordinary location of the toe of a ski boot carried thereupon;
b. a cylinder carried upon said first plate member and extending transversely of the ski;
c. a second plate member adapted to grasp the toe of the ski boot and movable therewith;
d. means integral with said second plate member for forming at least one forwardly opening socket axially aligned with said cylinder and adapted to receive and rotatably engage said cylinder therewithin when the toe of the ski boot is urged forwardly on the ski;
e. so that said second plate member may pivot with said ski boot through any angle about the axis of the cylinder.
5. The device claimed in claim 4 wherein said cylinder is provided with a pair of reduced diameter axially extending pins at the respective extremities thereof and wherein said at least one forwardly opening socket consists of two of said sockets adapted to engage said pair of axially extending pins respectively.
6'. The device of claim 5 wherein the extremities of said cylinder are tapered outwardly toward said pins.
7. The device of claim 6 wherein said two sockets are each of frusto-conical shape adapted to conform to and bear against said tapered extremities.
8. The device of claim 4 wherein said cylinder is provided with at least one reduced diameter portion intermediate its extremities, and wherein said cylinder is tapered inwardly toward said at least one reduced diameter portion.
9. The device of claim 8 wherein said at least one socket consists of a pair of sockets of frusto-conical shape adapted to conform to and bear against the inwardly tapered portions of said cylinder.