Title:
CONVERTIBLE CYCLE EXERCISER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A convertible cycle exerciser. The exerciser, moveable between a first position and at least one second position, comprises a base and a supporting member extending upwards therefrom with a main exerciser body pivotally connected to the supporting member by at least one pivot point. In the first position, force is applied to crank arms via a user's feet in a conventional cycling mode, and in the at least one second position, applied to the crank arms with a user standing and operating the exerciser via hands and arms. An adjustable resistance mechanism acting on a first rotating member to vary the load requirement is controlled by at least one resistance control conveniently accessed in each of the first and at least one second positions. Movement of the exerciser between the first and at least one second positions is facilitated by operation of a simple release mechanism. Compared with conventional convertible systems, the cycle exerciser presents a considerably simpler mechanism, reducing complexity of the system and thereby cost, weight, and maintenance requirements, providing an additional upper body exercise component with simplified and convenient engagement and resistance adjustment access in all positions of use.



Inventors:
Gearon, Michael James (Berwick, AU)
Application Number:
11/735918
Publication Date:
10/18/2007
Filing Date:
04/16/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B22/06; A63B69/16
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
GINSBERG, OREN ISAAC
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
QUINTERO LAW OFFICE, PC (615 Hampton Dr, Suite A202, Venice, CA, 90291, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A convertible cycle exerciser, moveable between a first position and at least one second position, the convertible cycle exerciser comprising; a base, a supporting member extending upwards therefrom, and a main exerciser body pivotally attached to the supporting member by at least one pivot point; wherein the main exerciser body comprises a first rotating member rotating around a first axis, a second rotating member rotating around a second axis substantially perpendicular to the first axis, and a running flexible member connected therebetween; wherein the second rotating member comprises a pair of reciprocating crank arms attached and extending substantially perpendicular to the second axis, and a pair of engaging members rotatably attached to free ends thereof, and wherein at least one resistance mechanism is disposed on or near the first rotating member, resisting rotation thereof, irrespective of direction of rotation, to increase workload applied on the second rotating member, controllable by at least one first resistance control when in the first position, and at least one second resistance control when in the at least one second position, with both resistance controls disposed on the main exerciser body; and a release mechanism detachably connecting the main exerciser body to the base, such that, upon disconnection thereof, the main exerciser body freely pivots on the at least one pivot point between the first position and the at least one second position and vice versa.

2. The convertible cycle exerciser as claimed in claim 1, wherein the main exerciser body further comprises a seat and handlebar assembly.

3. The convertible cycle exerciser as claimed in claim 1, wherein the base further comprises a footplate.

4. The convertible cycle exerciser as claimed in claim 1, wherein the engaging members comprise a combined pedal and handgrip mechanism, wherein the handgrip component extends outwardly from the pedal component.

5. The convertible cycle exerciser as claimed in claim 1, wherein the main exerciser body is further movably attached to the supporting member by at least one supplementary connecting mechanism.

6. The convertible cycle exerciser as claimed in claim 5, wherein the at least one supplementary connecting mechanism comprises a hydraulic piston, counterbalance mechanism, spring mechanism or other applicable system.

7. The convertible cycle exerciser as claimed in claim 1, wherein a braking mechanism is provided at either or both of the at least one first resistance control and the at least one second resistance control and which, when applied, instantly terminates rotation.

8. The convertible cycle exerciser as claimed in claim 1, wherein movement of the first rotating member and the second rotating member takes place with equal facility in both clockwise and counter/anti-clockwise directions.

9. The convertible cycle exerciser as claimed in claim 1, wherein the running flexible member connected between the first rotating member and the second rotating member comprises a chain, belt, cable, or other suitable element.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to cycle exercisers and in particular to a cycle exerciser easily convertible to a position providing an additional upper body exercise component.

2. Description of the Related Art

Stationary bicycle-type exercise devices are well known, and numerous advances in the design thereof have been made, improving performance and enhancing fitness benefits and user experience thereof. Even so, while ample cardiovascular and lower body workout components are provided, for dedicated upper body exercise components, additional devices and/or programs must be accessed by a user.

Accordingly, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,232,422, Bishop Jr. discloses an exercise device having a driving sprocket coupled to a resistive driven sprocket, in which pedals are connected to the driven sprocket and rotated by foot about an axis in a first direction. The driving sprocket and pedals may be repositioned to a second position where the sprocket is rotatable by hand, providing an upper body exercise component. Repositioning of the mechanism, however, requires complicated operation by the user. Further, upper body-targeted use of the device is still largely restricted to either a seated posture or a relatively awkward standing posture in which the seat is straddled, since the seat apparatus remains fixed. As well, when the device is repositioned, operation of the sprocket requires the user to engage the pedals of the device in a position that may be awkward, uncomfortable, or even harmful. In addition, such requirement for direct contact with the pedals by the hands presents a potential encounter with dirt or residue from prior contact with a user's feet or shoes, an undesirable situation compounded in environments such as gyms or health clubs where the device is operated by multiple users.

In WO 2005/107882, incorporated herein in its entirety by reference, Gearon (the inventor of the present disclosure) discloses an exercise apparatus for selectively exercising an upper or lower body portion. Unlike the previous disclosure, rotation to the upper body-targeted position allows the user to stand. Further, Gearon provides dedicated handgrips extending outwardly from the pedals, obviating direct contact with the pedals by the user's hands.

In both cited devices, however, complexity of structure creates considerable issues of size, weight, and, accordingly, price. As well, the abundance of moving parts and linkages increases likelihood of component fatigue and breakdown, with associated cost and inconvenience.

Additionally, the current fitness environment has seen an overwhelming upsurge in the popularity of spinning classes, in which as many as 40 or more students ride cycle exercisers at varying speeds and intensities, as directed by a class leader. As mentioned previously, though, the stationary cycle exercisers employed provide no upper body component to the workout.

Existing devices providing an additional upper body component, however, such as those cited, are unsuitable for use in spinning classes, since switching between positions is complicated and time-consuming enough that the flow of the class would be negatively affected. Further, since loading applicable to upper body exercise is a fraction of that for lower body work, upon switching from one position to the other, the resistance must be changed. No current devices allow convenient resetting of resistance from both positions.

Thus, a need exists for an easily operated convertible cycle exerciser providing an additional upper body exercise component, with simplified structure and convenient engagement and resistance adjustment access in all positions of use.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, a convertible cycle exerciser is provided.

The exerciser comprises a base and a supporting member extending upwards therefrom with a main exerciser body pivotally connected to the supporting member by at least one pivot point. At least one supplementary connecting mechanism may also connect the main exerciser body with the supporting member or base. The main exerciser body comprises a first rotating member rotated around a first axis by rotating action applied to a second rotating member around a second axis, parallel to the first axis.

Rotating action generated by the second rotating member is transferred to the first rotating member by a chain or other running flexible member.

Force is applied to reciprocating crank arms attached substantially perpendicular to the second axis.

Engaging members rotatably attached to the ends of the crank arms, substantially parallel to the second axis, may each comprise a combination of pedal and handgrip.

Rotation of all rotating members, irrespective of exerciser position, can take place in both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions.

An adjustable resistance mechanism acts on the first rotating member to vary the load requirement applied to the second rotating member.

The main exerciser body is movable between a first position and at least one second position by means of at least one pivot point on the supporting member.

In the first position, force is applied to the crank arms via a user's feet on the engaging members with the user seated and operating the exerciser in a conventional cycling mode.

In the at least one second position, force is applied to the crank arms via a user's hands on the engaging members with the user standing.

At least one resistance control is disposed in a location conveniently accessed in each of the first and at least one second positions.

The resistance controls may further provide a braking capability to instantly terminate rotation.

Movement of the exerciser between the first and at least one second positions is facilitated by operation of a single release mechanism, freeing the main exerciser body from attachment to the base. The main exerciser body then pivots via the at least one pivot point on the supporting member.

Upward force required to move the main exerciser body may be augmented or fully supplied by extension of the at least one supplementary connecting mechanism. Where more than one second position is available, the at least one supplementary connecting mechanism may further provide incremental fixing of the main exerciser body in each of the available second positions.

The at least one supplementary connecting mechanism can comprise a hydraulic piston system, spring system, or other suitable mechanism.

Once reaching the at least one second position, the exerciser is fully usable in upper body-targeted operating mode.

Movement of the exerciser between the at least one second position and first position is facilitated by downwardly pivoting the main exerciser body via the at least one pivot point on the supporting member, until re-engagement with the base is achieved. Operation of the single release mechanism re-fixes the main exerciser body to the base. As before, force required to move the main exerciser body may be augmented or fully supplied by retraction of the at least one supplementary connecting mechanism.

Once the main exerciser body is re-engaged with the base, the exerciser is fully usable in lower body-targeted conventional cycling operating mode.

Compared with conventional convertible cycle exerciser systems, the disclosed cycle exerciser presents a considerably simpler mechanism, reducing complexity of the system and thereby cost, weight, and maintenance requirements, providing an additional upper body exercise component with simplified and convenient engagement and resistance adjustment access in all positions of use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention can be more fully understood by reading the subsequent detailed description and examples with references made to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic side view of a convertible cycle exerciser of the invention in a first position; and

FIG. 2 is a schematic side view of a convertible cycle exerciser of an embodiment of the invention in a second position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a schematic side view of a convertible cycle exerciser of the invention in a first position and FIG. 2 is a schematic side view of the convertible cycle exerciser of the invention in a second position.

Like elements among the drawings bear like labeling, for brevity.

The convertible cycle exerciser comprises a base 1 and a supporting member 2 extending upwards therefrom. A main exerciser body 3 is pivotally attached to supporting member 2 by at least one pivot point 4 and, in a first position, detachably attached to base 1 at a release mechanism 5.

Main exerciser body 3 comprises a first rotating member 7, a second rotating member 8, a running flexible member 9, a pair of reciprocating crank arms 10, and a pair of engaging members 11, rotatably attached to free ends thereof.

At least one resistance mechanism 12 is applied to first rotating member 7. Also disposed on main exerciser body 3 are at least one first resistance control 13 and at least one second resistance control 14.

Main exerciser body 3 may further comprise a seat 15 and handlebar assembly 16.

Base 1 may further comprise a footplate 17.

Engaging members 11 may comprise a combined pedal and handgrip mechanism, wherein the handgrip component extends outwardly from the pedal component.

Main exerciser body 3 can be further movably attached to supporting member 2 or base 1 by at least one supplementary connecting mechanism 6.

As shown in FIG. 1, the disclosed convertible cycle exerciser, when in a first position, provides a conventional cycling exercise component, targeting the cardiovascular system and lower body areas. With or without the use of a seat 15 and handlebar assembly 16, engaging members 11 receive direct force from a user's feet, rotating reciprocating crank arms 10 and, in turn, second rotating member 8, about a second axis. Rotation of second rotating member 8 is transferred to first rotating member 7 by running flexible member 9, which may be covered, as is shown in the figures, or uncovered.

Variable resistance can be applied to increase a user's workload by way of at least one resistance mechanism 12, disposed on or near the first rotating member. Variation in the applied resistance can be controlled, when in the first position, by at least one first resistance control 13.

A braking mechanism may also be provided at the at least one first resistance control 13, which, when applied, can instantly terminate rotation.

Movement of main exerciser body 3 between the first and at least one second positions is facilitated by operation of release mechanism 5, freeing main exerciser body from attachment to the base 1 thereby. Main exerciser body 3 is then pivotable upward via the at least one pivot point 4 on supporting member 2.

Upward force required to move main exerciser body 3 may be augmented or fully supplied by extension of the at least one supplementary connecting mechanism 6. More than one second position may be available, to accommodate different user heights and positions. In such a case, the at least one supplementary connecting mechanism 6 may further provide incremental fixing of main exerciser body 3 in each of the available second positions.

The at least one supplementary connecting mechanism can comprise a hydraulic piston system, spring system, or other suitable mechanism.

Once reaching the at least one second position, engaging members 11 can receive direct force from a user's hands and arms, rotating reciprocating crank arms 10 and, in turn, second rotating member 8, about a second axis. Rotation of second rotating member 8 is transferred to first rotating member 7 by running flexible member 9, which may be covered, as is shown in the figures, or uncovered.

When main exerciser body 3 is in the at least one second position, a user may take a requisite posture for use by placing one or both feet on footplate 17.

Variable resistance can be applied to increase a user's workload by way of at least one resistance mechanism 12, disposed on or near the first rotating member. Variation in the applied resistance can be controlled by at the least one second resistance control 14. A braking mechanism may also be provided at the at least one second resistance control 14, which, when applied, can instantly terminate rotation.

Movement of main exerciser body 3 between the at least one second and first positions is facilitated by applying downward force to pivot main exerciser body 3 on the at least one pivot point 4 on supporting member 2 until release mechanism 5 is re-engaged, thus re-fixing main exerciser body 3 to base 1 thereby. Main exerciser body 3 is then once more in the first position, suitable again to provide the conventional cycling exercise component.

Downward force required to move main exerciser body 3 from the at least one second position to the first position may be augmented or fully supplied by contraction of the at least one supplementary connecting mechanism 6.

It is to be noted that all disclosed rotational movement can take place with equal facility in both clockwise and counter/anti-clockwise directions.

An easily operated convertible cycle exerciser of the invention provides an additional upper body exercise component, with simplified structure and convenient engagement and resistance adjustment access in all positions of use. The considerably simplified system and operation significantly reduce manufacturing complexity and cost and dramatically decrease potential maintenance and repair requirements. The speed and simplicity with which the user can convert between conventional cycle and upper body-focused exercise further suit the disclosed exerciser for classroom and directed exercise environments.

While the invention has been described by way of example and in terms of preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited thereto. To the contrary, it is intended to cover various modifications and similar arrangements (as would be apparent to those skilled in the art). Therefore, the scope of the appended claims should be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and similar arrangements.