US 3862763 A
A roller skate having a wheel support assembly is disclosed. The wheel support assembly includes two compressive members carried on an action screw for importing flexibility or action to a skate wheel axle. The amount of action desired by the skater can be adjusted by turning the screw into or out of the skate sole plate. A hole in the sole plate communicates with a slot in the action screw, and a retaining pin secures the screw in any of a number of preselected action-providing positions.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
EJnited States Patent 11 1 1 Jan. 28, 1975 Ware 1 1 ROLLER SKATE CONSTRUCTION WITH RELEASABLY, LOCKABLE AND ADJUSTABLE ACTION SCREW  Inventor: Gordon K. Ware, St. Charles, 111.  Assignee: Chicago Roller Skate Company,
 Filed: Oct. 25, 1973 [211 App]. No.: 409,634
 US. Cl. 280/1118  Int. Cl. A63c 17/02  Field of Search 28()/1l. 28, 11.2,1127; 151/5  References Cited UNITED. STATES PATENTS 1,320,095 10/1919 .Robinson 151/5 2,719,723 10/1955 Ware 280/1128 5/1956 Sternbcrgh 280/1128 11/1973 Machatsch 280/1128 Primary Examiner-Robcrt R. Song Assistant ExaminerDavid M.'Mitchcll Attorney, Agent, or Firn1-Olson, Trexler, Woltcrs. Bushnell & Fosscr Ltd.
 ABSTRACT A roller skate having a wheel support assembly is dis- 1 Claim, 5 Drawing Figures ROLLER SKATE CONSTRUCTION WITH RELEASABLY, LOCKABLE ANDADJUSTABLE ACTION SCREW BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to roller skates, and particularly concerns a wheel support assembly for roller skates of the rink type.
Modern roller skates of the rink variety usually includes a shoe for the wearer, a shoe sole plate. and four rollers or wheels which are mounted to the sole plate by one or more wheel support assemblies. One such successful skate structure having wheel support assemblies is disclosed in US. Pat. No. 2,719,723. These support assemblies permit a limited degree of movement or action between the wheel axles and the sole plate or skate frame structure. While a limited degree of flexibility or action is necessary if the skater is to easily and gracefully make certain motions or perform certain steps, it is desirable that this flexibility or action be achieved without looseness between adjacent parts, or without imparting'even a feeling of looseness to the skater through the support unit. The desired action contemplates a controlled degree of motion between the skate wheel axles and the sole plate or skate frame as skating pressures are correspondingly increased in a controlled manner. Experience has shown that different skaters prefer different amounts of action in their skates; that is, individual preference or tastes differ among individual experienced skaters as to the amount of action a skate should provide during skating movement.
It is also important, of course, that the wheel support assembly be constructed without actual fragility or weakness in the parts. Moreover, undue bulk in the support parts is undesirable, both from an esthetic and from a performance standpoint.
It is thus the general object of the present invention to provide an improved skate structure of the rink type having a rugged wheel support unit or assembly wherein the amount of action can be easily adjusted to individual tastes.
It is a more speciflc object of the invention to provide a roller skate wheel support structure wherein the degree of flexibility between the skate wheel axle and the skate frame can be easily adjusted to suit differing individual tastes.
It is another object to provide a skate support structure of the type described wherein the flexibility can be adjusted without requiring complex special tools or a special knowledge or instruction on the part of the skate adjuster.
It is yet another object of the invention to provide such a wheel support structure which is compact in its design, and which utilizes no relatively fragile parts.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings. Throughout the description, like reference numerals refer to like parts.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view showing in general a skate wheel support structure constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the front wheel support structure or truck shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view in partial section showing in further detail the wheel support structure of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view more particularly illustrating the parts forming the wheel support unit; and
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view illustrating in still further detail the action screw utilized in the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION While the invention will be described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it will be understood that it is not intended to limit the invention to that embodiment. On the contrary, it is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention.
Referring more particularly now to FIG. 1, the illustrated skate comprises a unitary sole plate 10 to which a shoe structure or device for attaching the skate to a shoe of the usualvariety (not shown) may be secured. The sole plate 10 is provided at its opposite ends with a rear wheel support unit or assembly 11, a front wheel support unit or assembly 12, and a toe stop structure 13. This toe stop structure may take the form of that disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,180,65l. Since the front and rear wheel support structure 11 and 12 are substantially identical, the only front wheel support structure 12 will be described in detail.
To accommodate attachment of the wheel support structure 12, the sole plate 10 is provided .with a front embossment l5 and a rear embossment 16. The rear embossment 16 is tapped with female threads 17 to receive an action screw 20.
At a relatively lower end, this action screw 20 is provided with an enlarged head 21, and assembled immediately thereupon is a metallic washer 22 having a re cess 23. This recess 23 is adapted to receive the lower face 24 of a cylindrical washer or cushion member 25 formed of rubber or other resilient material. The upper face 26 of the cushion member 25 is adapted, in turn, to seat within a recess 27 formed in a platform portion 28 of a wheel truck strut arm 29. On the opposite or upper side of the platform 28, a second recess 30 is formed to receive the lower face 31 of an upper cushion member 32, also formed of rubber or or similar resilient material. An upper face 33 formed on the upper cushion 32 is received in a recess 34 formed for that purpose is an upper flanged washer 35. As a primary device to retain these parts upon the action screw 20, a jamb nut 36 is provided.
The strut arm 29 terminates, at an end opposite the platform 28, in a generally spherical or dome-shaped nub 39 which, as seen particularly in FIG. 3, is adapted to be partially inserted into a cup-shaped bushing 40 formed of rubber or other resilient material. The bushing 40, in turn, is received in a recess 41 formed for the purpose in the shoe plate embossment l5. Elongated bosses 44 and 45 are oriented upon the strut arm 29 to engage and support the roller skate wheel axle (not shown).
Having the foregoing assembly 12 in mind, its cooperation and interaction with the skate shoe l0 and the associated skate wheels 47 will be more easily understood. During the termination of jumping movements by the skater and other more or less directly impactive motions upon the wheel support assembly 12 the cushion members 25 and 32 undergo resiliently compressive action, thereby cushioning the impact shock imparted to the wheel assembly and skate. Motion of the wheels 47 generally toward the sole plate can be accommodated by slight pivotal motion of the strut arm 29 about the nub 39 and bearing 40 which act as a universal ball and socket joint. Torsional movement imparted to the wheel support assembly 12, which may occur during turning or pivoting motions by the skate user, are also accommodated. During such pivotal motions, one side only of each cushion member 25 and 32 may undergo compressive action, permitting the strut arm 29 and axle bosses 44 and 45 to rotate so as to present, momentarily, one axle boss 44 and the associated axle and wheel at a position relatively closer to the skate sole plate 10 than the other boss 45 and associated axle and wheel. I
These compression members 25 and 32 act as spring members, absorbing successive equally increasing amounts of force with relatively decreasing amounts of compressive displacement. For example, if the compressive force imparted or asserted upon the compressive members 25 and 32 is increased from 50 to 100 pounds, the compressive members will undergo a first predetermined compressive reduction in height. A further equal increase of compressive force from 100 to 150 pounds will produce a second and further compressive reduction in member height, but the further reduction in height will be less than the first predetermined reduction in compressive height.
It is these changes in compressive height of the cushion members 25 and 32 which provide the desired flexibility or action in the skate, and it is this variation in compressive height or change in cushion member dimension which is to be adjusted in accordance with the invention. To this end, therefore, the action screw is provided with a slot 50 oriented diametrically across the shank 51 of the action screw and extending in depth over a plurality of convolutions 53 of the male threads 54 formed upon the action screw 20. Formed in the sole plate 10 for alignment with the actionscrew slot 50 is an eye or hole 56, which is adapted to receive a cotter pin 57. To adjust the action of the skate, the skate user simply inserts a screwdriver or similar driving tool into a driving slot 60 formed in the head 21 of the action screw 20 and threadably advances the action screw 20 into the threaded receiving embossment 16, or alternatively withdraws the action screw 20 partially therefrom. Such advancement or retraction of the action screw 20 with corresponding movement of the jamb nut 36 increases or decreases the static preload forces applied to the compression members and 32. when the screw slot 50 has been aligned with the sole plate hole 56, the cotter pin 57 is inserted and secured in the plate and screw.
As explained above, a relatively high preload upon the compression members 25 and 32 caused by turning the action screw 20 a relatively great distance into the boss 16, will result in relatively small compressive movement of the compression members 25 and 32 during skating movements, and will provide the skater with a relatively firm feel or action. Conversely, partially withdrawing the action screw 20 from the threaded receiving embossment l6 and correspondingly loosening the jamb nut 36 will lower the compressive preload imparted to the compression members 25 and 32, will permit relatively greater compressive motion of these members during the same skating movements, and will provide a relatively softer feel or action for the skater.
Since all the described parts are retained in firm constant interengagement by the interaction of the action screw 20, the jam nut 36, and the embossment l6, undesirable play in the wheel mount 12 is eliminated. Loosening motion of the action screw 20 relative to the retaining embossment 16 which might be caused by vibration or other factors is prevented by the cotter pin 57 drawn through the sole plate 10 and screw slot 50. Since the action screw 20 is prevented from rotating the jam nut 36, too, is locked in place, and undesirable loosening and play in the support structure is prevented. By forming the slot 50 to a depth extending over several convolutions 53 of the action screw thread 54, a number of action screw positions relative to the supportive embossment 16 are provided for selection by the using skater, and corresponding amounts of action can be alternatively selected by the skate user.
The invention is claimed as follows: 7
l. A roller skate comprising a wheel support unit including a normally undisplaced axle and a sole plate having a downwardly extending threaded embossment and a single cotter pin hole oriented transversely to the embossment and a threaded and slotted action screw for retaining a wheel support assembly on the sole plate, the screw slot being oriented diametrically across the end of the screw and extending in depth across a plurality of convolutions of screw thread, and cotter pin means for securing the action screw in any one of a limited, finite, integral number of positions upon the sole plate with the screw slot aligned with the sole plate hole, the wheel support unit further including resilient compressive action means mounted upon said slotted action screw, a jamb nut threadably received upon said action screw between said sole plate and said compressive action means and turnable on said screw through an infinite number of positions relative to said screw for imparting various preloads to said compressive members and primarily retaining said action screw and compressive members in said preloaded condition, said cotter pin means acting to secondarily retain said action screw, said compressive means and said jamb nut in any one of a limited, finite, integral number of respective retained positions thereby providing the skate user with any one of a corresponding number of skate motions relative to the sole plate when a given force is applied to the skate in a given direction.