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Publication numberUS3825273 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 23, 1974
Filing dateJun 7, 1971
Priority dateJun 7, 1971
Also published asDE2227500A1
Publication numberUS 3825273 A, US 3825273A, US-A-3825273, US3825273 A, US3825273A
InventorsL Greene
Original AssigneeSafe Flight Instrument
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Ski binding
US 3825273 A
Abstract  available in
Images(12)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ July 23, 1974 3,618,965 11/1971 Hecker.........................280/1l.35C

FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,337,872 8/1963 France......................... 1,309,985 10/1962 France.....................

268,189 8/1950 Switzerland.................. 841,238 2/1939 France.........................

Primary ExaminerDavid Schonberg Assistant Examine r-Milton L. Smith [57] ABSTRACT A ski binding including a sole plate to which a ski boot is secured. The sole plate is supported on a ski plate for rotatable movement of the sole plate about forward pitch and yaw axes located beneath a skiers center of gravity. Means is provided for preventing movement of the sole plate relative to the ski plate about these axes when subjected to pitching, and yawing torques occurring during normal maneuvers and for allowing said sole plate to be released for settable ab- Leonard M. Greene, c/o Safe Flight Instrument Corp, PO. Box 550, White Plains, NY. 10514 June 7, 1971 Appl. No.: 150,677

280/1135 K Int. A63c 9/08 Field ofSearch280/11.35 '1", 11.35 K, 11.35 D, 280/1135 A,11.35 E,11.35 R, 11.35 Y

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS United States Patent Greene SKI BINDING [76] Inventor:

22 Filed:

52 User 1 normal (excessive) pitching and/or yawing torques.

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INVENTOR. LEONARD M. GREENE SKI BINDING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention Safety ski binding 2. Description of the Prior Art Skiing is an extremely popular sport and is enjoyed by both young and old throughout the world. The number of skiers in the last 20 years has increased approximately by 3,000 percent and it is estimated that approximately three and one-half million Americans now ski.

With this great popularity of skiing there has been increasing attention directed to the injuries that have in the past been an inherent part of skiing such as bone fractures, muscle sprains, dislocated shoulders, torn ligaments, bruises, etc.

Standard skiing equipment now includes skis, ski boots and bindings for securing the ski boots to the skis.

Originally, the bindings consisted of metal clamps attached to the skis which were appropriately called bear trap" bindings. The main characteristic of this type of binding was that once the skier inserted his boot into the metal clamp on the ski there was virtually no way to effect release (release" is used to indicate automatic separation of a boot from a ski upon occurrence of abnormal torques). As time passed release bindings were developed which theoretically were designed to allow a bootto disengage from a ski during a fall and thereby minimize the chances of serious injury. A particular criticism of many prior art bindings was that the bindings allowed premature release. Thus, many times a skier found himself disengaged from his skis when be least expected it, which of course was dangerous. On the other hand many times the bindings did not function properly to effect release when required which was also dangerous.

Originally, ski boots were relatively soft and many skiing injuries involved ankle fractures of the lateral or fibular malleolus which became'known as skiers fractures. A further type of injury that was associated with soft ski boots was a spiral fracture of the shaft of the tibia (the thick leg bone).

Most ski boots are now made of rigid materials with the consequence that many of the injuries suffered by skiers using these boots involves transverse fractures of the distal end of the tibia. These injuries can be very severe and many times involve compound fractures which require months of healing.

It is of course to be appreciated that no matter what type ofboot is used, if the binding effects release at the proper time and otherwise works properly most injuries can be avoided.

The falls that a skier can undergo can be categorized into two varieties. The first type of fall is known as the In a weighted fall the weight of the skier is exerted downwardly on the skis and usually occurs in deep snow. In thistype of fall very frequently the skiers leg turns in one direction while his weight still is supported by his feet. Unless the binding releases serious injury can and does result.

Weighted and unweighted falls occur, in part, as a result of excessive pitching (both forward and rearward) and yawing. Forward pitching is defined as the rotational motion of the ski boots relative to the skis so as to increase the distance from the heels of the boots to the ski surfaces as compared to the distance from the toes of the boots to the ski surfaces. Forward pitching by the skier is caused by an abnormally high forward pitching torque being applied to the ski bindings. Forward pitching torque is created when the skiers body is rotated about his feet (held fast in the boots) in a forward direction and a sufficient amount of such rotation places a strain on his knees since the physiological makeup of a human being does not allow a persons knees to bend forwardly to relieve strain. A sufficient amount of forward pitching torque without release severely strains the ankles since the heels are captive in the boots and serious injuries can result therefrom.

In addition to the danger of serious injury from forward pitching torque without release, injury can also result from rearward pitching torque without release, with rearward pitching being defined as the rotational motion of the ski boots relative to the skis so as to increase the distance from the toes of the boots to the ski surfaces as compared to the distance from the heels of the boots to the ski surfaces. Rearward pitching by the skier is caused by an abnormal rearward pitching torque being applied to the ski bindings after the knees have bent rearwardly as far as circumstances permit. When rearward pitching torque occurs the skiers body is rotated in a rearward direction about his feet which are held fast in the ski boots and a sufficient amount of said rotation without release severely strains the skiers ankles since his feet are captive in the boots.

Serious injury can also result when more than a predetermined amount of yawing torque occurs without release (while the skiers boots are secured to his skis so as to move therewith), with yawing being defined as the rotational movement of the ski boots with respect to the longitudinal axis of the skis while the boot sole planes remain parallel to the ski surface planes. Yawing results from the application of an abnormal yawing torque being applied to the ski bindings. Yawing torque without release can engender twisting of the ankles, knees and hips and legs.

Most ski bindings are designed to, enable boots to be released when excessive pitching and/or'yawing occurs.

With many prior art ski bindings it is not possible to set the torque release point for pitch release independently of the torque release point for yaw release. This is undesirable since, practicably, for safe skiing it is necessary to have yaw release occur at a different torque than that at which pitch release occurs.

With many prior art ski bindings frictional surfaces exist between the ski boot and ski so that release settings are unreliable, i.e., will occur at different values under different prevailing conditions. As an example with some prior art ski bindings the boot sole contacts the skiers ski plate in its entirety and static and kinetic frictional forces due to body weight and acceleration forces on rough terrain can easily double the torque required' to effect release of the ski boot from the ski.

A further drawback of having a boot sole contact with the ski or a ski plate is that as a result of static and kinetic friction therebetween torques are not transmitted to the binding release means to effect release;

Additionally, with most prior art ski bindings means is provided forsecuring the ski boot to the ski at the toe and heel of said boot. This severely limits the freedom of motion of the boot toe relative to the ski which impairs the effective operation of the binding release means. With someprior art ski bindings which use a toe piece that operates a release means, a high impact on said toe piece is required to effect release. Very frequently the force required to effect release for women skiers is above the womens injury threshold which may account, in part, for the higher injury rate of women. An additional drawback of having a toe piece obstruction in the front of the boot is that the toe piece obstruction blocks forward movement of the boot relative to the ski during a fall, after release, and causes the skiers ankle to assume an acute dorsiflexion position. When this occurs the ankle becomes rigid and ankle I and joint injuries often result.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 1. Purposes of the Invention It is an objectrof the present invention to provide an improved ski binding and specifically one that will overcome the disadvantages heretofore noted.

Another object of the present invention is to provide I an improved ski binding wherein the effects of frictional forces on release settings are minimal.

. Still a further object of the present invention is to provide an improved ski binding wherein the effects of the skiers weight and force couples on release settings are minimal.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a ski binding having the forward pitching and yawing axes in close proximity to one another.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide an improved ski binding having release means minimally effected by frictional forces, the presence or absence of the skiers weight, force couples and acceleration forces. I I I Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an improved ski binding having means for varying the amount of forward and rearward pitching torque required to effect release.

Still another object-of the present invention is to provide an improved ski binding having means for varying the amount of yawing torque required to effect release.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an improved ski binding having means for varying the torque required to effect release from forward and rearward pitching independently of the torque required to effect release from yawing. r

A further object of the present invention is to provide a ski binding having means for varying the torque re Yet another object of the present invention is to pro vide an improved lanyard secured to the approximate center of the sole of a ski boot and to a ski.

Other object of the invention will be pointed out hereinafter. I

2. Brief Description of the Invention According to one aspect of the present invention the foregoing and other objects are achieved by low friction means for supporting a ski boot sole plate in spaced relation to a ski.

A release means is provided for enabling said ski boo sole plate to be released from the ski upon the occurrence of variably settable pitching and yawing torques. One part of runaway lanyard is secured to the sole plate and a part spaced therefrom is secured to the ski.

During controlled (normal) skiing (where the skier is in control of the orientation of his body and neither pitching in either a forward or rearward direction nor yawing more than predetermined amounts) the. weight of the skier is supported by the low friction means. If the skier should pitch forwardly or rearwardly and create a forward or rearward pitching torque more than the amounts allowed by the release means, release is effected. The lanyard prevents the ski from moving free of the boot.

A sufficient amount of yawing torque causes the sole plate to yaw and if the torque is sufficiently high release is effected.

It should be noted that the low friction means minimizes the effects of friction and the effects of the skiers weight on the various release means.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings wherein like elements in the different FIGS. are represented by the same reference numerals:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the ski binding of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the ski binding of the first embodiment securing a ski boot to a ski;

FIG. 2a is 'an enlarged horizontal sectional view of the hinge plate and hinge post of the first embodiment of the ski binding showing one way that the hinge plate and hinge post can cooperate with one another;

FIG. 2b is an enlarged vertical sectional view of the I hinge plate and hinge post of the first embodiment of the ski binding showing one way that the hinge plate and hinge post can cooperate with each other;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken substantially along FIG.-5 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view showing the first embodiment of the ski binding immediately after yaw-induced release;

FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view showing the first embodiment of the ski binding immediately after forward pitch-induced release;

FIG. 8 is a vertical sectional view showing the first embodiment of the ski binding immediately prior to rearward pitch-induced release;

FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of a second embodiment of the ski binding of the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a top plan view of a second embodiment of the ski binding securing a ski boot to a ski;

FIG. 10a is an enlarged horizontal sectional view of the hinge plate and hinge post of the ski binding of the second embodiment showing how these elements cooperate with one another;

FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 11-11 of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is a top plan view showing the second embodiment of the ski binding immediately prior to yawinduced release;

FIG. 13 is a vertical sectional view showing the second embodiment of the ski binding immediately prior to forward pitch-induced release;

FIG. 14 is a top plan view of a third embodiment of the ski binding of the present invention;

FIG. 14a is an enlarged horizontal sectional view of the hinge plate and hinge post of the third embodiment of the ski binding;

FIG. 15 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 1515 of FIG. 14;

FIG. 16 is a top plan view showing the third embodiment of the ski binding immediately after yaw-induced release;

FIG. 17 is a vertical sectional view showing the third embodiment of the ski binding immediately prior to forward pitch-induced release;

FIG. 18 is a top plan view of a fourth embodiment of the ski binding of the present invention securing a ski boot to a ski; 1

FIG. 19 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 19-19 of FIG. 18;

FIG. 20 is a top plan view of the fourth embodiment of the ski binding immediately after yaw-induced release; 4

FIG. 21 is a vertical sectional view showing the fourth embodiment of the ski binding immediately after forward pitch-induced release;

FIG. 22 is an enlarged top plan view of the pitch and yaw release mechanism for the third and fourth embodiments of the ski binding;

FIG. 23 is an enlarged side view of the pitch and yaw release mechanism of the third and fourth embodiments of the ski binding;

FIG. 24 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially along the line 2424 of FIG. 14;. and

FIG. 25 is an exploded perspective view of a portion of the pitch and yaw release mechanism used in the third and fourth embodiments of the ski binding.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In FIGS. 1 through 8 of the drawings a first embodiment of a ski binding according to the present invention is shown for securing a ski boot 10 to a ski 12. Ski

boot 10 is a conventional boot made of substantially rigid material and includes a rigid sole 14. A rigid metal sole plate 16 is provided to which boot 10 is normally secured in a fashion such that it can be easily removed by a skier at his option. For this purpose there is provided a boot nose catch 18 located at and permanently secured to the front portion of sole plate 16 and a manually releasable fastening means 20. Fastening means 20 includes a heel dog 22 which can be manipulated to exert a downward force on the heel portion of sole l4 and adjustable length arms 24 rotatably secured to said stop and flanking opposite sides of sole 14. The ends of arms 24 remote from stop 22 are bent inwardly and sets of registered holes are located in the sides of sole plate 16 (FIG. 1) into which said inwardly bent portions can be inserted, the particular holes selected depending on the length of the boot. As will be apparent to those knowledgeable in the art fastening means 20 is conventional for securing a ski boot to a sole plate and it is to be understood that the use of the particular fastening means described herein is for purposes of illustration only and not of limitation.

Depending downwardly from the rear of sole plate 16 is a flange 26 and bottom surface of which is spaced a short distance from the top of a metal ski plate 28 that is rigidly fastened to the upper surface of ski 12. Side flanges extend downwardly along the edges of sole plate 16 from flange 26 towards the front of said sole plate and decrease in height going towards the front of soleplate 16. A U-shaped strip 17 of readily compressible resilient filler material, e.g., foam rubber or foamed resilient polyurethane, is secured to the upper surface of ski 12 at the front and sides thereof and has its maximum height beneath the front of sole plate 16 and decreases in height towards the rear thereof. Filler strip 17 along with the side flanges depending from sole plate 16 prevents snow and/or ice from compacting and/or forming between ski 12 and sole plate 16, the presence of which would limit the freedom of movement of the sole plate relative to the ski plate.

Permanently and rigidly secured to sole plate 16 on the bottom thereof is a downwardly extending rigid metal hinge plate 30 which includes a forward flat top surface tip 32 that is inclined upwardly and rearwardly and defines a forwardly opening acute angle with a plane parallel to the sole plate. Depending downwardly from tip 32 is a semi-cylindrical upright front nose surface 34. A flat front bottom surface 36 extends rearwardly from the bottom of nose 34 and an upwardly and rearwardly sloping back bottom surface 38 extends away from surface 36. The axis of curvature C of nose 34 which passes through top surface tip 32 defines a yaw axis. Hinge plate 30 is substantially triangular in plan andv includes rearwardly flared side surfaces 30a and 30b. I

A small, e. g., three-eighths inch by three-eighths inch step bearing 40 is located on the bottom of surface 36 and normally is in face to face contact with ski plate 28. The top of hinge plate 30 above surface 32 is secured to sole plate 16 in a fashion such that bearing 40 is approximately beneath the center of gravity of a skier wearing bootl0.

An upstanding rigid metal hinge post 42 is secured to ski plate 28. Hinge post 42 includes a V-shaped rearwardly facing recess 46 that is defined by walls 48, 50, 52 and 54 with walls 48 and 52 and walls 50 and 54 being respectively in transverse registry with each other. Walls 48 and 52 are the same height. Walls 50 and 54 similarly are equal in height with the latter two walls (50,54) having a slightly greater height than walls 48 and 52. Recess 46 is bisected by the central longitudinal axis of the ski;

A rounded wall 56 connects walls 50 and 54 at the apex of recess 46. An overhang 57 extends towards the rear of ski 12 from the upper portion of wall 56. The bottom of overhang 57 consists of a flat surface sloped to approximately match the slope of surface tip 32.

The entry angle of recess 46 defined by walls 48 and 52 is considerably larger than the bearing'angle of said recess defined by walls 50 and 54 with the amount of .excess not being material to the proper functioning of the binding.'The bearing angle between walls 50 and 54 is, in turn, greater than the inclined angle between side surfaces 30a and 30b of hinge plate 30 by an amount sufficient for the'plate to swing to either side enough to release in yaw without surfaces 30a and 30b bearing on walls 50 and 54. Overhang 57 extends a small distance over surface tip 32, e.g., one-thirty second of an inch rearwardly of the front of nose 34, to allow said hinge plate to cam out from under and thereby disengage from post 42 upon rearward movement of plate 16, occasioned by undue rearward pitching torque, to effect release. The width of recess 46 at the rear of the entry angle is slightly, e.g., a few thousandths of an inch, wider than the width of nose 34 so that the nose can be seated for rotation about yawaxis C in the bearing angle if tolerances permit as will hereinafter be described.

Secured .to the front of hinge post 42 is a lanyard support which consists of a hoop 58 that extends through an opening in hinge post 42 so as to be pivotable about said hinge post. A second lanyard support includes a pin 60 between a pair of posts secured to the bottom of sole plate 16 above hoop 58. A flexible lanyard 62 has its opposite ends secured to hoop 58 and pin 60. The lanyard is long enough to let the ski clear the heel or toe of boot l0 subsequent to release. The lanyard is slidably engaged between its ends by anelastic restraint E, e.g., a rubber band, that is anchored to a post 63 on ski plate 28 near but in back of strip 17. The restraint pulls the center of the lanyard forwardly, causing the lanyard to assume'an almost flat V-shaped configuration as long asthe hinge plate is in the recess of the hinge post.

V Secured to ski plate 28 and positioned slightly to the front of the rearmost portion of sole plate 16 is a bearin g block 64 which extends transversely across plate 28 and includesa transverse bearing surface 66 parallel to the ski..

A partition 70 extends transversely across the bottom of sole plate 16 parallel to and forward of flange 36 and in close proximity thereto. Journalled by partition 70 and flange 26 in a common plane parallel to the sole plate are shafts 72 and 74 with said shafts being slightly inclined with respect to each other and intersecting each other if forwardly extended through yaw axis C.

Freely rotatable about shaft 72 between partition 70 and flange 26 is a roller 76. Means is provided for preventing said roller from moving axially rel'ativeto shaft 72. Secured to shaft 74 and freely rotatably thereabout between partition 70 and flange 26 is a second roller 78 with rollers 76 and 78 being of equal size. Means is provided for preventing roller 78 from moving axially along shaft 74. Rollers 76 and 78 have the same diame- 8 i a ter, are equally spaced from partition 76 and flange 26 and are arranged so that the bottom portion of each roller extends slightly beond the bottom of the flanges which depend from the sides of soleplate 16 adjacent each of said rollers. If desired, a bottom plate 80 can extend between the bottom of partition 70, flange 26 and the base of the flanges depending from sole plate 16 and include a channel 82 through which the bottom portion of rollers 76 and 78 extend. Rollers 76 and 78 ride on surface 66 and form therewith a low friction hearing at the rear of sole plate 16 for turning movement of sole plate about axis C.

Secured to flange 26 is a pitch and yaw release plate 84 with the top of said plate coplanar with the top of sole plate 16. A projection extends rearwardly from a-rear surface 86 of picth and yaw release plate 84 and is symmetrically positioned with respect to the lateral edges of said plate. Positioned near the top of projection 90 on the rear thereof is a transverse surface 96 which extends perpendicularly downwardly from the upper flat surface of plate 90 to a ramp 98 that is in fore and aft alignment with nose 34. Ramp 98 extends rearwardly and downwardly to 21 depending vertical surface 100. Ramp 98 is relatively narrow and is slightly transversely arcuate with its center of curvature at axis C.

Located beneath vertical surface 100 and offset for- .wardly therefrom is yaw socket 102 which is open at its bottom and is V-shapedin plan with slightly arcuate vertical walls 102a and 10212. As will be seen in FIG. 5 socket 102'has a slight forward downward inclination for a reason that will soon be readily apparent and socket 102 is bisected by a fore and aft plane passing through the center of hinge post 30. Socket 102 and ramp 98 are located vertically between the top and bottom of hinge post 30.

Secured to the rearmost portion of ski plate 28 is a housing 104 whichhas a cross section substantially similar to that of an inverted U. Housing 104 includes an upright front face 106 and an upright rear face 108. Openings 110 and 112 are located on front face 106 while openings 114 and 116 are located on rear face I 108. Openings 110 and 114 have the same cross section and are in longitudinal registry with one another. Located within housing '104 are vertically stacked sleeves 1 18 and 120. Sleeves 1 18 and are defined by circular walls which extend longitudinally from one'face of housing 104 to the other face thereof. The rear ends of sleeves 118 and 120 are internally threaded for a reason that will soon be readily apparent.

Annular flangesl22 are'provided near front face 106 of housing 104 being located in bottom and top sleeves 118 and 120, respectively. Tubular oil impregnated bearings 124 and 126'are located in the front portions of sleeves 118 and l20 .Face 106 of housing 104 is tapered forwardly about openings 110 and 112 with said tapers and flanges 122 captively holding said bearings against axial movement in their respective sleeves.

Extending forwardly of topopening 112 is a nippleshaped pitch pin 128 with said pin being circular in transverse cross section and having a flat free end. The base of pin 128 is integral with a ferrule 130 having a rear rim 132. Fer-rule 130 slides in top bearing 124. Rim 132 is so positioned that'when'pin 128 extends forwardly from top opening 1 12 somewhat beyond the position the pin is held by ramp 98 under a condition of no forward pitch, front rim 132 abuts flange 122 to pre- 9 vent forward movement of pin 128 relative to housing 104.

A top plug 136 is provided and located at the forward end thereof is a spring retaining collar 138 which is externally threaded. The externally threaded portion of spring retaining collar 138 is in threaded engagement with the threads at the rear end of top sleeve 120. A partition 139 extends inside collar 138 across the rear end thereof. The rear end of plug 136 includes a screwdriver receiving notch 140.

A compression coil spring 142 is located in top sleeve 120 and includes two ends with one end in abutment with rim 132 and the other end in abutment with partition 139 of collar 138.

Structure identical to the pin, spring and plug described in connection with top sleeve 120 is similarly located and arranged with respect to bottom sleeve 118 and in the interest of brevity a description of said structure is eliminated except for noting that pin 146 which is a yaw pin extends further forwardly away from'face 106 than pin 128 and is rounded on its free end.

With zero tolerances for hinge plate 30 and hinge post 42, hinge plate 30 is received in hinge post recess 46 with top surface tip 32 in face to face bearing contact with sloped bottom surface of overhang 57, sides of nose 34 in dual linear bearing contact with walls 50 and 54 and step bearing 40 in face to face bearing contact with ski plate 28.

It is of course to be appreciated that zero tolerances for a mass produced item such as a ski binding are impossible economically to achieve and thus there are two possible positions of hinge plate 30 in post 42. In one such position top surface tip 32 contacts bottom of overhang 57 with bearing 40 in contact with ski plate 28 and with one or the other side of nose 34 in contact with an adjacent wall 50 and 54 of the bearing angle. It is to be understood that in such position with normal manufacturing tolerances there will be a slight essentially imperceptible amount of side play such that nose 46 of hinge plate 30 can move laterally by a tiny amount in recess 46. The second position of hinge plate 30 in recess 46 occurs when the height of nose 34 is slightly less than the distance from ski plate 28. Then the insertion of binge plate 30 into recess 46 results in both sides of nose 34 rotatably contacting adjacent walls 54 and 50, respectively, and thus limiting the forward movement of hinge plate 30. Bearing 40 is in contact with ski plate 28 and tip 32 barely clears the bottom of overhang 57. There may be a slight imperceptible amount of vertical play. The three zone contacts of the two positions may wear in use into a four zone contact which is an amalgam of the two positions.

In the following description of the use of the preferred ski binding just described reference will be made to the operation of one such binding for purposes of brevity, keeping in mind that in normal use a skier uses identical bindings for each of his skis.

The ends of lanyard 62 are secured to the hoop 58 and pin 60. Sole plate 16 is positioned so that hinge plate 30 is received within recess 46 with bearing 40 resting on ski plate 28. As previously described, depending upon the tolerances of the hinge plate and hinge post, either one of two specificed conditions (or after wear both) will occur with bearing 40 contacting ski plate 28 in both conditions. With sole plate 16 positioned so the hinge plate is located as just described rollers 76 and 80 are in transversely movable low friction contact with bearing surface 66.

Sole plate 16 is positionedparallel to ski plate 28 by inserting hinge plate 30 in the hinge post recess as just described and forcing the rear of the sole plate down until pitch pin 128 snaps on to ramp 98 so the yaw pin is received in yaw socket 102 and pitch pin 128 rests on ramp 98. Yaw pin 146 is in contact with each of wallsl02aand l02b. Pitch pin 128 rests on ramp 98 and is in contact therewith. The hinge plate and hinge post are held against one another by the force exerted by the pitch pin and yaw pin on their respective mating surfaces. Specifically, compression spring 142 which acts on pitch pin 128 presses said pin against ramp 98 while the compression spring in sleeve bottom 118 which acts on yaw pin 146 presses said pin against yaw socket 102.

The forward pitch release setting is determined (the slop of the ramp being fixed) by the force exerted by pin 128 on ramp 98. This force is a function of the compression of spring 142 with the compression of said spring being controlled by the position of externally threaded collar 138 in top sleeve 120. The greater the force exerted bypin 128 on ramp 98 the greater the amount of forward pitching torque required to effect release andvice versa. t

The yaw release settingis determined (the slopes of the sides of the socket being fixed) by the force exerted by pin 146 on yaw socket 102 which is determined by the compression of the spring in sleeve 118 with the amount of compression of said spring being controlled in a similar fashion to the manner in which the compression of spring 142 is controlled. The greater the force exerted by pin 146 on socket 102 the greater the yawing torque required to effect release and vice-versa.

The rearward pitch release setting is a function of the combined forward forces exerted by both pins 128 and 146.

With the yaw and pitch release settings as just described during controlled skiing the weight of the skier is supported on low friction bearing 40 which'rests on ski plate 28 and low friction rollers 76 and 78 which rest on bearing surface 66 and are free to roll thereover. As a result of the above-described arrangement of supporting a skier during skiing, the effect of friction on release settings is minimized under various conditions such as weighted and unweighted falls and intermediate combinations thereof. Moreover, by having bearing 40 approximately beneath the center of gravity.

of a skier force couples resulting from acceleration forces and the skiers weight are minimized during forward pitching as will hereinafter be described.

Compressible filler material 17 and the side flanges which depend downwardly from sole plate 16 cooperate with each other to reduce entry of snow and/or ice between the ski and sole plate where they would limit the freedom of movement of the sole plate in pitch and yaw. Particular attention is directed to the freedom of downward movement of the front of the sole plate in forward pitching due to the absence of any fixed rigid structure under the sole plate forward of the hinge post and within the angle of forward pitch release.

If the skier should tend to pitch in a forward direction a slight amount and creates a low forward pitching torque the force exerted on ramp 98 by pin 128 will prevent the ski boot from rotating in a forward direcbeneath his center of gravity so that the effect of his weight onthe'forward pitch release setting is minimized. lf thepitching torque increases above the level selected to effect pitch release,'boot l and sole plate 16 rotate ina counter clockwise direction as viewed in the FIGS. The piching rotation takes place about a pitch axis which is horizontal and perpendicular to the length of the ski. The pitch axis shifts rearwardly slightly during forward pitch rotation. Such rotation can be best described by considering hinge plate 30 in terms of its mechanical functional equivalent which is a vertical circular cylinder'unitary withand pendant from the sole plate and the forward half of which is nose 34. In the second position, the sides of the nose are in contact with walls 50 and 54 and the hearing at the bottom of the cylinder rests on ski plate 28. Thus, in effect, the boot and sole plate are in unstable equilibrium above the ski plate (and ski) resting on the ski plate and being stabilized by the forward pressure of pin 128 forming the cylinder against and into the bearingangle. Whenforward pitching rotation occurs several things transpire concurrently. The rear of sole plate 16 lifts while the front portion thereof depresses. Nose 34 tips so that bearing 40 tips and slides rearwardly while top surface tip slides downwardly. As the nose tips the front edge of bearing 40 rests on ski plate 28 and the dual line contact of the cylinder in the bearing angle changes to downwardly moving dual point contact. As the tilting occurs, clearance is created between top surface tip 32 and overhang 57.

If prior to' pitch rotation top surface tip 32 is in contact with the overhang and one side of nose 34 is in contact with one of the bearing walls 50,54 (the first position), the initial result of forward pitch rotation is that tip 32'drops below overhang 57; Thereafter both sides of nose 34 contact both walls 50,54 and pitching proceeds as described with respect to the second position Pitch release occurs when pin 128 rides off ramp'98. It should be noted that the cooperation of a pin 146 and yaw socket 102 is insignificant insofar as forward pitch release is concerned since the friction resulting from the contact between said pin and walls 102a and 1021; is minimal and as pitch release is effected pin 146 passes through the opening at the bottom of yaw socket 104. The slope of yaw socket is such as not to inhibit pitch release. When pin 128 rides off of ramp 98 the boot is free to pitch forwardly. The boot and sole plate are jointly released from the ski plate except for the lanyard. The compressible strip under the front of the sole plate is compressed during forward pitch release. During forward pitch, release pin 128 is forced rearwardly, compressing its associated spring 142.

if the skier should subject the binding tov more than than a predetermined amount of rearward pitching torque hinge plate 30 moves rearwardlyby camming of sloped tip 32 on the matchingly sloped bottom of overhang 57 against the forces exerted by pins 128, 146

until tip' 32 clears overhang 57 thereby releasing the plate from the post. .Thereafter rearward pitching causes the sole plate to-pivot about rollers 76 and78 with bearing'40 raising from ski plate 28 and top surface tip'32 clearing overhang 57.

If counter clockwise yawing torque is present with nose 34 in contact with walls 50 and 54 and bearing 40 in contact with ski plate 28, hinge plate 30 is urged to rotate in a counter clockwise direction about yawing axis C looking down at said hinge post. Pin 146 applies a torque to'yaw socket 102 on wall 10% resisting said rotation. If the yawing torque is sufficient sole plate 16 will rotate in a counter clockwise direction and as said sole plate rotates wall 102b rides over pin 146 compressing the spring in sleeve 118 which compression results in pin 146 increasing the torque resisting yawing. If the yawing torque is sufficiently high, release is effected with pm 146 riding out of socket 104. The friction resulting from the contact between pin 128 and ramp 98 is so insignificant that it does not affect yaw release.

It should be noted that when yawing occurs rollers 76 and 78 roll over surface 66 and hinge plate 30 is supported on low friction bearing 40 so that friction has extremely little effect on the yawing. Further, by having shafts 72 and 74 inclined as previously described, when yawing occurs the rollers follow an arc the center of which is located approximately at C so that the rollers are free to rotate and sliding between said rollers and surface 66 is prevented.

If counter clockwise yawing torque is present in the second position with top surface tip 32 in contact with overhang 57 and one segment of nose 34 in contact with wall 50, then yawing axis C, which is at the center of curvature of nose 34, will be slightly to the side and rear of where it would be if opposed segments of nose 34 were in contact with walls 50 and 54.

When yaw release is complete, lanyard 62 prevents ski 12 from moving away from the boot, with the force exerted by the lanyard on sole plate 16 resulting in a force applied to the portion of the skier's foot best able to resist a pulling strain. Additionally, the lanyard attachment to the center of sole plate 16 enables the ski to clear the boot heel and toe with a lanyard of a minimum length.

By using low friction bearing surfaces to support the skier and small areas of contact between the hinge plate and hinge post, friction does not substantially affect release settings, overcoming a drawback with some prior art bindings. Further,- by having bearing 40 beneath the center of gravity of a skier the skiers weight and force couples do not significantly effect release from forward pitching.

Additionally, by eliminating a toe obstruction as part of the release mechanism and binding there is no chance of a skier being injured as a result of his boot catching on said obstruction subsequent to the binding releasing the ski. J

In FIGS. 9 through 13 a second embodiment of the present invention is shown and in all embodiments of the present invention identical parts are identified by the same reference numeral.

Permanently and rigidly secured to sole plate 16 on the bottom thereof is a downwardly extending rigid metal hinge plate 200 which includes a forward flat top surface 202, a semi-cylindrical upright front nose surface 204, a flat bottom surface 206 and an upwardly and rearwardly sloping back surface 208. The axis C of curvature of nose 204 defines a yawing axis. Hinge plate 200 is substantially triangular in plan and includes rearwardly flared side surfaces 200a and 20%. A small,

e.g., three-eighths inch by 3/8 inch, step bearing 210 is located on the bottom of surface 206 and normally is in face to face contact with ski plate 28. The top of hinge plate 200 above surface 202 is secured to sole plate 16 in a position such that bearing 210 is approximately beneath the center of gravity of a skier wearing boot 10.

An upstanding rigid metal hinge post 212 is secured to ski plate 28. Hinge post 212 includesa V-shaped rearwardly facing recess 216 which is defined by walls 218, 220, 222 and 224 with walls 218 and 222 and walls 220 and 224 being, respectively, in transverse registry with each other. Walls 218 and 222 are of the same height. Walls 220 and 224 similarly are equal in height with the latter two walls 220 and 224 having a slightly greater height than walls 218 and 222. Recess 216 is bisected by the central longitudinal axis of the ski.

The entry angle of recess 216 defined by walls 218 and 222 is considerably larger than the bearing angle of said recess defined by walls 220 and 224, the amount of excess not being material to proper functioning of the binding. The bearing angle between walls 220 and 224 is, in turn, greater than the angle defined by side surfaces 200a and 20019 of hinge plate 200 for that position of the hinge plate extending rearwardly of nose 204 and adapted to be located between the sides of the entry angle. The width of recess 216 at the rear of the entry angle is slightly, e.g., a few thousandths of an inch, wider than the width of'nose 204 (twice the radius of curvature of the nose) so that the nose can be seated (received) in the bearing angle for a short distance forwardly of its open rear end, thereby enabling the walls 218 and 222 of the bearing angle to function as bearing surfaces each having a vertical line contact with nose 204. Thus nose 204 is rotatably supported by the bear ing angle for turning movement about axis C which constitutes the yaw axis for boot 10. The bearing angle is sufficiently larger than the angle between the side surfaces of the hinge plate to permit the hinge plate, and therefore the boot, to swing right or left with respect to hinge post 212 an angular amount sufficient to release the binding in yaw as hereinafter described without the side surfaces of the plate touching walls 220 and 224 and thereby preventing restriction of such swinging movement.

A rounded wall 226 connects walls 200 and 224 of the bearing angle at the apex of recess 216. An overhang 227 cover recess 216 and extends over the bearing angle and partially back over the entry angle formed by the walls 218 and 222. The bottom of overhang 227 is flat and parallel to ski plate 28. The space between overhang 227 and ski plate 28 slightly, e.g., by 0.003 inch, exceeds the height of nose 204 between top surface 202 and step bearing 210. Overhang 227 extends rearwardly for a short distance, e.g., 1/16 inch,

beyond axis C so that when hinge plate is resiliently v urged forwardly into recess 216 only a slight vertical play can be experienced by hinge post 212 with respect to hinge plate 200.

A block 234 is secured to the rear of flange 26 and includes a protruding overhand 236 beneath which is formed a socket 238 that is situated at a vertical level between top surface 202 and step bearing 210. Socket 238 is located on the fore-and-aft center line of sole plate 16.

Extending upwardly from ski plate 28 at the sides thereof behind the adjacent block 234 are flanges 242 and 244 which are identical to each other and in mutual registry. A further flange 246 extends between the rear edges of flanges 242 and 244 and includes a central opening 248 for a reason that will soon be readily apparent.

Secured to ski plate 28 and extending upwardly therefrom is a guiding member 250 which includes a channel 252 that is parallel the longitudinal central axis of ski 12. A thrust member 254 includes a depending rod 256 which has a bearing on the bottom thereof with the lower portion of said rod slidably received in channel 252. Secured to the central portion of thrust member 254 and extending forwardly therefrom is an arm 258 which is rounded on its free end with said free end being received in socket 238. Located on the side of thrust member 254 opposite arm 258 and at the same horizontal lever is a U-shaped transverse channel 260 with upper and lower portions of said channel defined by'upper side 262 and lower side 264. Spaced partitions 266 and 268 having pointed free rear ends extends vertically between sides 262 and 264 and define a central socket 270. Projecting'upwardly from the upper surface of side 262 is a rod 272 tipped by a ball 278 at the uppermost portion thereof.

A bail 279 is provided and includes a socket on the bottom portion of the cross piece thereof. Ball 278 is received in the socket on bail 279 and bail sides 280 and 282 are secured to the frontmost portion of flanges 242 and 244. Ball 278 is retained for swivelling movement in bail socket. by a split anti-friction .washer 274 and aC-ring 276.

A dog retaining member 286 includes a generally transversely disposed U-shaped channel 288 bisected by a vertical wall 290. Extending forwardly from the free edge of wall 290 is a rod 292 tipped by a ball 293 at its free end. Ball 293 is received in socket 270 and cooperates therewith in a manner which will soon be readily apparent. An opening extends transversely through wall 290. Located in channel 288 on opposite sides of wall 290 are dog s 292 and 296. A bolt 298 having notched ends extends through the opening in wall 290 with the central portion of said bolt being unthreaded. Flanges (one of which is a C-ring) are secured to the bolt central portion on opposite sides of wall 290 to prevent the bolt from axially moving relative to wall 290. The portions of bolt 298 adjacent the different sides of wall 290 are threaded in opposite directions.

Dogs 294 and 296, which are mirror images of each other, each include a threaded opening with the threaded opening of each dog being in mated engagement with the associated portion of bolt 298 and adjacent adifferent side of wall 290. Since the dogs are mirror images of each other only one needs to be described. Dog 294 includes a block 300 received in and having a cross-section matching that of the channel 288 in which it is received for transverse slidable movement. A yaw arm 302 forming part of block 300 projects outwardly from the channel. Yaw arm 302 includes vertical sides 302a and 302b with the intersection of said sides defininga front bearing edge 302c. Yaw arm 302 is rockably received within channel 260 adjacent the left side of wall 268 as can be seen in FIG. 10. Extending away from the rear surface of dog retaining member 286 in a collar 306 which includes a rearwardly facing hollow opening.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3900205 *Aug 13, 1973Aug 19, 1975Ver Baubeschlag Gretsch CoSki safety binding
US3921995 *May 3, 1974Nov 25, 1975Moog IncSki binding
US3942809 *Oct 23, 1973Mar 9, 1976Vereinigte Baubeschlagfabriken Gretsch & Co. GmbhSafety ski binding
US3947052 *Nov 6, 1974Mar 30, 1976Hanson Industries Inc.Ski binding
US3958811 *Feb 25, 1974May 25, 1976Vereinigte Baubeschlagfabriken Gretsch & Co. GmbhSafety ski binding with sole plate
US3963253 *May 13, 1974Jun 15, 1976Vereinigte Baubeschlagfabriken Gretsch And Co. GmbhSafety ski binding
US4033603 *Jul 16, 1975Jul 5, 1977Gertsch AgSafety ski binding
US4191395 *Sep 2, 1977Mar 4, 1980Etablissements Francois Salomon Et FilsSki boot element
US4678201 *Jul 27, 1984Jul 7, 1987Gregory WilliamsSki binding
US4989893 *Dec 14, 1988Feb 5, 1991Eze Sport International GmbhToe unit for a safety ski binding
US7264263 *Mar 7, 2001Sep 4, 2007Rottefella A/SSki binding
US7318598 *Feb 17, 2004Jan 15, 2008Kneebinding Inc.Alpine ski binding heel unit
US7887084Feb 15, 2011Kneebinding, Inc.Alpine ski binding heel unit
US8955867Jan 4, 2011Feb 17, 2015Kneebinding, Inc.Alpine ski binding heel unit
US8960710 *Jul 9, 2008Feb 24, 2015Skis RossignolRear hoop for a snowboard binding
US20040173994 *Feb 17, 2004Sep 9, 2004Howell Richard J.Alpine ski binding heel unit
US20090014984 *Jul 9, 2008Jan 15, 2009Jean-Marc PascalRear Hoop (3) for a Snowboard Binding
Classifications
U.S. Classification280/618
International ClassificationA63C9/084, A63C9/086
Cooperative ClassificationA63C9/086, A63C9/084, A63C2201/06
European ClassificationA63C9/084, A63C9/086