Title:
Binding device for securing a boot suited to walking to a gliding board
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Front binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board comprising a jaw connected to a device comprising a release mechanism, wherein the jaw comprises a securing bar having a bearing surface sloping upward and a base kept in contact with the device by a connection allowing the jaw to rotate laterally and vertically with respect to the device. Sports boot able to be fixed to a gliding board comprising a sole, comprising a rear kerb to be fixed by the jaw of a heel piece, wherein the sole comprises a hollowed-out region, a binding element having the shape of a V pointing toward the front of the boot, the hollow of the V-shape being approximately centered on the width of the boot, positioned toward the front of the boot and placed above the hollowed-out region.



Inventors:
Gignoux, Pierre (Coublevie, FR)
Application Number:
11/284670
Publication Date:
05/25/2006
Filing Date:
11/22/2005
Assignee:
SKIS ROSSIGNOL S.A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C9/18; A63C9/085; A63C9/086; A63C9/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
VANAMAN, FRANK BENNETT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAUG PARTNERS LLP (745 FIFTH AVENUE - 10th FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY, 10151, US)
Claims:
1. A front binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board comprising a jaw (11) connected to a device (10; 10, 25) comprising a release mechanism, wherein the jaw (11) comprises a securing bar having a bearing surface (14) sloping upward and a base (12) kept in contact with the device (10; 10, 25) by a connection allowing the jaw (11) to rotate laterally and vertically with respect to the device (10).

2. The front binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board as claimed in claim 1, wherein the jaw (11) is placed at the rear of the device (10) and is kept in a binding position by a connection with a tie-rod (16) pushed back by a spring (18) of the device (10) and which binding device comprises, toward the rear, a raised feature (21) for positioning the boot.

3. The front binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board as claimed in claim 1, wherein the device (10) is placed at the rear of the jaw (11), which is kept in contact with a front end stop (25) by a piston (29) operated by a spring (18) of the device (10).

4. The front binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board as claimed in claim 3, wherein the jaw (11) comprises a partially cylindrical front surface (26) which comes to bear against a cylindrical surface (27) of the front end stop (25).

5. The front binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board as claimed in claim 3, wherein the device comprises several pistons (29, 29′) operated by respective springs (18, 18′) mounted in parallel.

6. The front binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board as claimed in claim 1, wherein the jaw (11) exhibits a shoulder (13) for bearing against a binding element (2) belonging to a boot.

7. The front binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board as claimed in claim 1, wherein the jaw is able to move about an axis (30), remains bearing against the upper surface (33) of the device, this surface having a downward slope in the form of an arc of a circle, followed by the jaw (11), in the event of a fall with twisting so as to retract the jaw in such a fall.

8. A sports boot able to be fixed to a gliding board comprising a sole (1), comprising a rear kerb to be fixed by the jaw of a heel piece, wherein the sole (1) comprises a hollowed-out region (6), a binding element (2) having the shape of a V (3) pointing toward the front of the boot, the hollow of the V-shape (3) being approximately centered on the width of the boot, positioned toward the front of the boot and placed above the hollowed-out region (6).

9. The sports boot as claimed in claim 8, wherein the binding element (2) has a V-shape the opening of which ranges between 15 and 35 millimeters and the depth of which ranges between 5 and 10 millimeters.

10. The sports boot as claimed in claim 8, wherein the distance between the end of the rear kerb and the point of the V (3) of the binding element (2) of the sole (1) of the boot ranges between 19 and 24 centimeters.

11. The sports boot as claimed in claim 8, wherein the distance between the end of the rear kerb and the point of the V (3) of the binding element (2) of the sole (1) of the boot ranges between 19 and 22 centimeters for a shoe size of between 23.5 and 27.5 and ranges between 22 and 24 centimeters for a shoe size of 27.5 or higher.

12. The sports boot as claimed in claim 8, wherein the sole additionally comprises two stiff bearing regions (5) arranged longitudinally on each side of the hollowed-out region (6) to bear against a corresponding surface on the gliding board.

13. The sports boot as claimed in claim 8, wherein the sole (1) comprises a front region (7) that is curved to make walking easier.

14. The sports boot as claimed in claim 8, wherein the sole (1) is made of rubber and the binding element (2) and/or the stiff regions (5) are made of metal.

15. A binding/sports boot system for securing the boot to a gliding board comprising a heel piece and which comprises a front binding device comprising a jaw connected to a device comprising a release mechanism, wherein the jaw comprises a securing bar having a bearing surface sloping upward and a base kept in contact with the device by a connection allowing the jaw to rotate laterally and vertically with respect to the device and comprises a boot as claimed in claim 8.

16. A set of boot/binding systems as claimed in claim 15, comprising a set of boots of different shoe sizes, able to be fixed to a gliding board comprising a sole, comprising a rear kerb to be fixed by the jaw of a heel piece, wherein the sole comprises a hollowed-out region, a binding element having the shape of a V pointing toward the front of the boot, the hollow of the V-shape being approximately centered on the width of the boot, positioned toward the front of the boot and placed above the hollowed-out region; wherein the separation between the heel piece and the front binding devices, comprising a jaw connected to a device comprising a release mechanism, wherein the jaw comprises a securing bar having a bearing surface sloping upward and a base kept in contact with the device by a connection allowing the jaw to rotate laterally and vertically with respect to the device, in the set of binding devices corresponding to the set of boots of different shoe sizes is constant and non-adjustable.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a releasable binding device for a gliding board, which we shall also term more simply a “binding”, for securing a boot to a gliding board while at the same time allowing it to be released when it experiences loadings above a certain threshold, for safety reasons. More specifically, the invention relates to an end stop for such a binding, to a boot compatible with this end stop, and to a boot/binding system. It also relates to a set of boot/binding systems in which the boots represent the set of existing shoe sizes. It is particularly suited to ski bindings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

A conventional ski binding is made up of a heel piece and of a front end stop, which are positioned on a ski, comprising jaws that collaborate with rear and front kerbs provided on the soles of the ski boots. These jaws are connected to complex mechanisms for implementing the release functions to release the boot. Ski boots have of necessity to be stiff in order to guide the ski correctly. Their soles are also stiff and extend over a length greater than that of the boot because they have a kerb at each end. A first disadvantage with these boots stems from the fact that they are ill-suited to walking, because of these soles, and this makes moving around when not wearing the skis somewhat difficult. A second disadvantage of these bindings stems from the fact that they are dependent on the shoe size of the boot because their separation has to correspond to the length of the boot, so as to collaborate with its front and rear kerbs, which makes them complicated devices. A third disadvantage with these bindings stems from the fact that they lead to a significant bulk on a gliding board because one device is positioned at the front and one at the rear of the boot, something which is not very attractive and is an impediment in the case of gliding boards the length of which may be short.

Another type of ski boot binding has been proposed in patent FR 2 794 028. This solution relies on boots having a sole the surface of which comprises, at the front and at the rear, oblique surfaces that make walking easier. The central region of the sole has a hollow with a flat bottom and sides of circular shape, into which hollow two metal bracket-shaped components constituting the first part of the binding are fixed. These components correspond with dihedral retaining members belonging to front and rear binding devices positioned on the ski. This solution has the following disadvantages:

it requires a boot with a complicated sole;

the entire binding operation is performed using elements positioned under the sole and the skier has no visual frame of reference for correctly positioning his foot, making the solution somewhat un-user-friendly and potentially leading to incorrectly secured bindings;

the binding is based on front and rear devices on the ski of a novel type, entailing a substantial modification to existing in conventional devices; in particular, the release of the boot at the front in the event of a fall with twisting or backward is achieved through a novel approach. The benefit of many years of development of these highly sensitive release mechanisms is lost and there is a risk that this solution will present problems of reliability and of safety;

such a binding does not answer the problem presented by the commonplace presence of snow stuck to the underside of the boot, known as a wedge of snow.

One object of the present invention is therefore to propose a new binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board which does not have the aforementioned disadvantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

More specifically, a first object of the present invention is to propose a binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board using a boot that is better suited to walking.

A second object of the present invention is to propose a binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board that is not too bulky.

A third object of the present invention is to propose a binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board which allows secure binding even when a wedge of snow is present.

A fourth object of the present invention is to propose a binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board that is simpler.

A fifth object of the present invention is to propose a binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board that guarantees correct positioning of the foot, is reliable and is dependable.

The invention is based on a front binding device for securing a boot to a gliding board comprising a jaw connected to a device comprising a release mechanism, wherein the jaw comprises a securing bar having a bearing surface sloping upward and a base kept in contact with the device by a connection allowing the jaw to rotate laterally and vertically with respect to the device.

According to a first embodiment, the jaw is placed at the rear of the device and is kept in a binding position by a connection with a tie-rod pushed back by a spring of the device and the device comprises, toward the rear, a raised feature for positioning the boot.

According to a second embodiment, the device is placed at the rear of the jaw, which is kept in contact with a front end stop by a piston operated by a spring of the device. The jaw may then comprise a partially cylindrical front surface which comes to bear against a cylindrical surface of the front end stop.

Finally, the jaw may exhibit a shoulder for bearing against a binding element belonging to a boot.

The invention also relates to a sports boot able to be fixed to a gliding board comprising a sole, comprising a rear kerb to be fixed by the jaw of a heel piece, wherein the sole comprises a hollowed-out region, a binding element having the shape of a V pointing toward the front of the boot, the hollow of the V-shape being approximately centered on the width of the boot, positioned toward the front of the boot and placed above the hollowed-out region.

The binding element of the boot may have a V-shape the opening of which ranges between 15 and 35 millimeters and the depth of which ranges between 5 and 10 millimeters.

The distance between the end of the rear kerb and the point of the V of the binding element of the sole of the boot may range between 19 and 24 centimeters.

The distance between the end of the rear kerb and the point of the V of the binding element of the sole of the boot may range between 19 and 22 centimeters for a shoe size of between 23.5 and 27.5 and may range between 22 and 24 centimeters for a shoe size of 27.5 or higher.

The sole of the boot additionally may comprise two stiff bearing regions arranged longitudinally on each side of the hollowed-out region to bear against a corresponding surface on the gliding board.

The sole may also comprise a front region that is curved to make walking easier.

Finally, the sole may be made of rubber, and the binding element and/or the stiff regions made of metal.

The invention also relates to a binding/sports boot system for securing the boot to a gliding board comprising a heel piece and which comprises a binding device as described hereinabove and comprises a boot as described hereinabove.

Finally, the invention also relates to a set of boot/binding systems, comprising a set of boots as described hereinabove of different shoe sizes, wherein the separation between the heel piece and the front binding device as described hereinabove in the set of binding devices corresponding to the set of boots of different shoe sizes is constant and non-adjustable.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These objects, characteristics and advantages of the present invention will be set out in detail in the following description of some particular embodiments given by way of nonlimiting examples in conjunction with the attached figures among which:

FIG. 1 depicts a simplified side view of a binding according to a first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 depicts a simplified side view of a section through the first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3 depicts a simplified view from underneath of a section of the first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 depicts a simplified perspective view from beneath of the sole of a boot of the first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5a depicts a perspective view of a catching element of the boot of the first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5b depicts a perspective view of a catching element of the binding of the first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5c depicts a perspective view of the collaboration between the catching elements of the boot and of the binding of the first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 6 depicts a simplified view from beneath of a section of the binding of the first embodiment of the invention in a position of lateral release following a twisting movement;

FIG. 7 depicts a simplified side view of a section of the binding of the first embodiment of the invention in a release position upon a fall backward;

FIG. 8 depicts a simplified side view in section on A-A of the binding of the first embodiment of the invention, when a wedge of snow is present;

FIG. 9 depicts a simplified view from beneath of a section of the binding of the first embodiment of the invention when a wedge of snow is present;

FIG. 10 depicts a simplified side view of a binding according to a second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 11 depicts a simplified view from beneath of a section on B-B of a binding according to a second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 12 depicts a simplified side view of a binding according to a second embodiment of the invention in a position of lateral release following a twisting action;

FIG. 13 depicts a simplified view from beneath of a section on C-C of a binding according to a second embodiment of the invention in a position of lateral release following a twisting action;

FIG. 14 depicts a simplified view from beneath of a section on D-D of a binding according to a second embodiment of the invention in a position of lateral release following a twisting action;

FIG. 15 depicts a simplified side view of a section of a binding according to a second embodiment of the invention in a position of release during a fall backward;

FIG. 16 depicts a view from above of a first variant of the second embodiment;

FIG. 17 depicts a view in section on E-E of the first variant of the second embodiment;

FIG. 18 depicts a view from above of the first variant of the second embodiment in a position of lateral release following a twisting action;

FIG. 19 depicts a view in section on F-F of the variant of the second embodiment in a position of lateral release following a twisting action;

FIG. 20 depicts a view from above of a second variant of the second embodiment;

FIG. 21 depicts a view from above of the second variant of the second embodiment in a position of lateral release following a twisting action.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The invention is based on boots having a special sole, comprising a conventional rear kerb and, for the remainder, an unconventional form that will be described later on, collaborating with a device associated with a gliding board made up of a non-conventional front device and of a conventional heel piece. FIGS. 1 to 9 illustrate a first embodiment of the invention, in which figures only the front parts of the sole and of the binding device of the gliding board have been depicted, to make the figures simpler and clearer.

As illustrated in FIG. 4, the sole 1 of the boot comprises a binding or catching element 2, made of metal, rectangular overall and one side of which has a set-back V-shape 3. This element 2 passes transversely across a longitudinal hollowed-out region 6 of the sole of the boot and is fixed under the sole 1 on each side of this hollowed-out region 6 by two screws passing through lateral openings 4. The hollow of the V-shape 3 of the element 2 is centered on the width of the sole, positioned and facing forward and placed above the hollowed-out region 6. The sole 1 also comprises two stiff regions 5, for example added metal plates 5, distributed one on each side of the hollowed-out region 6 of the sole 1 in a longitudinal direction from front to back, their front part bearing against the binding element 2. The sole is flexible overall, made of rubber, and has a tread surface 7 at the front that makes walking easier. The hollowed-out region 6 begins at the front of the sole and extends appreciably to the rear of the binding element 2 in the direction of the region of the heel of the boot and allows any snow that may build up against the binding element 2 to be removed to the rear, while at the same time allowing the boot to be put into the binding, as will be explained hereinafter.

The front binding device, positioned on the gliding board, comprises a device 10 connected to an immobilizing member or jaw 11, placed simply to bear against the rear surface of the device 10. This jaw 11 is intended to collaborate with the binding element 2 of the sole. It comprises a base 12 with an opening in which the end of the release tie-rod 16 that will be described later is housed. It additionally comprises a shoulder 13 intended to bear against the edge of the binding element 2 in the hollow of its V-shaped part 3, and a securing bar comprising a bearing surface 14 which is positioned on the binding element 2, in the space between the hollowed-out region 6 of the sole and the binding element 2 when the boot is placed in the binding, as depicted in FIGS. 1 to 3. This collaboration between the elements 2 and 11 is also illustrated in FIG. 5c. The jaw 11 therefore rests against a narrow end comprising the elements 13 and 14 which is immobilized in the hollow of the V of the element 2. This small size advantageously makes it possible to define a binding element 2 on the boot that is small in size and does not occupy a great deal of space, the opening of the V of which ranges between 15 and 35 millimeters and the depth of which ranges between 5 and 10 millimeters. This V-shaped part may have a slightly rounded shape. This geometry of the V-shaped part 3 of the binding element 2 and that of the end part 13 and 14 of the jaw 11 makes it possible to reach a good compromise between maintaining collaboration between these two elements and the ability of the boot to be released if the release mechanism is triggered. The base 12 of the jaw 11 has a width that allows the release function to work by its turning, as detailed hereinafter in relation to FIG. 6.

For the operation of putting the boot into the bindings, the user rests his foot on the gliding board and moves his boot forward until it comes into abutment against the jaw 11. The V-shape of the binding element 2 automatically guides and centers the jaw 11 on the boot and assures the skier that the correct position has been achieved in spite of the skier's inability to see this first phase of the procedure of putting the boot into the bindings. The second phase corresponds to the positioning of the heel in the heel piece: this operation is easy and user-friendly because it is done visually as in the case of conventional solutions.

The jaw 11 comprises a ball joint 15 incorporated into the opening of its base 12, connected to a tie-rod 16, the front end 17 of which compresses a spring 18 contained in a space 19 of the device 10. The compression of the spring 18 can be adjusted by means of a screw 20 which acts directly on the end 17 of the tie-rod 16 bearing against the spring 18. The device 10 additionally comprises a raised feature 21 to define a bearing surface intended to accept metal plates 5 of the sole. In the boot binding configuration, the sole therefore rests on three small bearing surfaces: a central front bearing surface at the surface 14 of the jaw 11 and two rear bearing surfaces between the plates 5 and the raised feature 21, the separation of which guarantees good stability.

This device allows the binding to release laterally. If the boot is twisted, the jaw 11 experiences a force that tends to cause it to turn. As depicted in FIG. 6, the lateral wall of the jaw 11 bears against the base of the device 10 about an axis 22 which defines an axis of rotation. When the twisting force exerted exceeds a certain threshold, the force transmitted to the tie-rod 16 is enough to overcome the force of the spring 18 so as to cause the boot to turn, thus releasing the element 2 of the sole from the jaw 11.

Likewise, in the event of a fall backward, an upward force is exerted on the jaw 11 and tends to cause the jaw 11 to turn about an axis 23 in contact with the base of the device 10, allowing the boot to be released once the force exceeds a certain threshold value.

FIGS. 8 and 9 depict the binding in a configuration in which a wedge of snow 24 is stuck under at least one of the metal plates 5 under the boot and/or on the binding itself. As their surface area is small, this phenomenon is minimized. However, even when such a wedge of snow is present, securing the binding is still possible with the same level of performance. Indeed, in such cases, the boot remains positioned in a plane above the normal level, defined by the raised feature 21, and the jaw cannot drop down so far as to position its shoulder 13 against the binding element 2. However, the securing bar of the jaw 11 is long enough to keep the surface 14 bearing against the V-shaped part 3 of the element 2. In addition, since this surface 14 has an upward slope, whatever the precise points at which this surface 14 bears against the V-shaped part 3, the jaw 11 in all cases positions itself toward the closed end of the V of the binding element in order always to exert, on the one hand, a vertical bearing force which keeps the front of the boot against the gliding board and, on the other hand, two lateral bearing forces which provide lateral immobilization, because of its slope collaborating with the V-shaped part 3 which prevents any side slip or lateral clearance on the part of the element 2 and therefore of the boot.

FIGS. 10 to 15 depict a second embodiment of the invention. The same references are used for elements that are the same or equivalent.

The sole 1 remains identical to that of the previous embodiment. The device 10 is positioned under the sole, between the jaw 11 and the heel piece, not depicted. It additionally comprises a front end stop 25 which acts as a bearing surface for the jaw 11. The jaw 11 comprises a partially cylindrical front surface 26 which bears against a corresponding cylindrical surface 27 of the front end stop 25. It additionally comprises a rear surface 28 in its bottom part, against which there bears a piston 29 pushed by a spring 18 of the device 10, the force of which can be adjusted by means of a screw 20. In the configuration for securing the binding and for putting the boot into the binding, the jaw 11 behaves in the same way as in the first embodiment.

In a twisting phase depicted in FIGS. 12 to 14, the force transmitted by the boot tends to cause the jaw 11 to turn by sliding of its surface 26 against the surface 27 of the end stop 25. The piston 29 is therefore compressed by the jaw 11 and opposes this turning. However, beyond a certain threshold value, the twisting force is strong enough to cause the jaw to turn, pushing the piston 29 back, to release the binding.

FIG. 15 illustrates the release of the binding in the case of a fall backward. The jaw has a tendency to turn about an axis 23, the contact between the jaw 11 and the front end stop 25, pushing back the piston 29.

According to the invention, the device on the gliding board is no longer directly associated with the shoe size of the boot. It is possible to choose a constant distance between the heel piece and the front end stop of the binding for all boots. For example, such a distance corresponding with a boot in which the distance d, illustrated in FIG. 14, between the rear kerb of the heel and the point of the V of the binding element 2 is constant for all shoe sizes and adopts a value ranging between 19 and 24 centimeters is particularly suitable. As a variant, it is possible to choose two different distances d, one to be used for all the small shoe sizes and the other for all the large shoe sizes. For example, a distance d of about 19.5 centimeters is particularly suited to a boot with a shoe size ranging between 23.5 and 27.5 and a distance d of about 23 centimeters is particularly suited for a boot of a shoe size of 27.5 or higher.

A collection of binding devices and of boots of all shoe sizes will therefore be very simple to produce because the binding devices may have an identical and constant separation, without any need for adjustment, between the heel piece and the front end stop for several boots of different shoe sizes or even for all boots.

Finally, the solution according to the invention presents the following advantages:

    • it is based on a boot, the sole of which is relatively flexible, except for stiff elements of small surface area, and the front surface of which is flexible and curved to define a tread surface. This boot is therefore better suited to walking than conventional boots;
    • it allows the heel piece and the front binding device to be moved appreciably closer together, thus reducing the surface area needed for positioning the binding elements on the gliding board. It therefore occupies little space. Note that the second embodiment succeeds in minimizing the bulk;
    • it allows the binding to be secured even when there is a wedge of snow present, this securing of the binding additionally remaining play-free;
    • it is simpler because the boot has a very simple sole. In addition, the binding device on the gliding board is no longer directly associated with the shoe size of the boot and no longer of necessity requires adjusting devices. It may be possible to select the same distance between the heel piece and the front end stop of the binding for all boots. As a variant, it is possible to choose several different distances, each of them being applied to a set of boots of different shoe sizes;
    • it makes for user-friendly and easy putting of the boot into the binding because all that is required is for the front of the boot to be slid in and the rear kerb positioned visually in the heel piece;
    • it is reliable and dependable because release of the binding partially makes use of ready-validated release methods.

FIGS. 16 to 21 depict advantageous variants of the second embodiment of the invention, which could also be implemented in respect of the first embodiment.

In the first variant illustrated in FIG. 16 to 19, the jaw 11 is mounted so that it is able to turn about an axis 30 on a lower part 31 and thus has an additional degree of freedom. In the binding-secured position illustrated in FIGS. 16 and 17, the jaw 11 rests on the upper surface of the device 10. An end stop 32 of the lower part 31 prevents it from rotating upward with respect to this lower part 31. When the binding releases as a result of a twisting action, the jaw 11 turns about a vertical axis, as explained previously, until it reaches its position inclined at 90° as depicted in FIG. 18. In this embodiment variant, during this rotational movement as a result of twisting, the jaw 11 remains bearing against the surface 33 of the device which has a slight downward slope in the appreciably circular travel of the jaw. Thus, in the extreme position depicted in FIGS. 18 and 19, the jaw 11 has turned downward slightly simply under gravity about the axis of rotation 30 to occupy a position about 10 millimeters lower down, particularly visible in FIG. 19. The advantage of this embodiment variant is that it allows for easier lateral release of the boot in the event of a fall with twisting because retraction of the jaw reduces the impediment that it might cause.

In the second variant illustrated in FIGS. 20 and 21, the assembly comprising the piston 29 and the spring 18 of the device 10 is replaced by a pair of pistons 29, 29′ and springs 18, 18′. When there is a fall with twisting as illustrated in FIG. 21, the jaw 11 on the whole begins to bear against just one piston 29 and the force resisting the twisting movement is therefore defined by the spring 18 alone. By contrast, both springs resist a backward fall and therefore offer twice as much resistance as is offered against twisting. The advantage with this variant is that it readily allows a difference in release stiffnesses between twisting and falling backward. Note that this solution can also be applied to the first embodiment and, more generally, to any binding with two release modes, one for twisting and one for falling backward. In more complicated configurations, more than two parallel springs may be used.