Title:
PAIR OF WHEELED SKATE-SKIS USABLE ON MOST TERRAINS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pair of wheeled skate-skis comprising a chassis with two upwardly projecting forked ends, a flexible foot strap attached to a front side of the chassis, a front buckle slide fastened to an opposite front side of the chassis, two buckle slides, an adjustable binding, a front wheel assembly and a rear wheel assembly. To secure a shoe in position, the flexible foot strap is wound around the shoe and through the front and rear buckle slides and folded back to be fixed to itself by a hook-and-loop fastener. The upwardly projecting forked ends of the chassis have a plurality of axle-receiving holes for mounting wheels of various sizes and types. The chassis can be made by injection molding or compression molding or by cutting a section of fiberglass I-beam.



Inventors:
Gates, Patrick G. (Richland, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/757351
Publication Date:
12/04/2008
Filing Date:
06/02/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
280/11.27, 280/11.3
International Classes:
A63C1/18; A63C17/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GURARI, EREZ
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Innovative Law Partners, PS (Steven Bertone 505 W Riverside STE 555, Spokane, WA, 99201, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, each wheeled skate-ski comprising: a chassis having a foot-receiving body portion, a front forked end, a rear forked end, each forked end having two prongs, each prong having a plurality of axle-receiving holes; an adjustable binding with two bottom portions respectively fastened to a first side of the chassis and a second side of the chassis; two rear buckle slides, one fastened to the first side and the other fastened to the second side of the chassis; a front buckle slide fastened to the second side of the chassis; a flexible foot strap with one end fastened to the first side of the chassis opposite to the front buckle slide; a front wheel assembly having a wheel, a tire and an axle, mounted on the front forked end of the chassis using a pair of fasteners and axle-receiving holes, one on each prong of the front forked end; and a rear wheel assembly having a wheel, a tire and an axle, mounted on the rear forked end of the chassis using a pair of fasteners and axle-receiving holes, one on each prong of the rear forked end, whereby a shoe worn by a user of the wheeled skate-ski can be securely bound in the adjustable binding and strapped down to the foot-receiving body portion of the chassis by tightly winding the flexible foot strap sequentially through the front buckle slide on the second side of the chassis, the rear buckle slide on the first side of the chassis, and the rear buckle slide on the second side of the chassis, then folding the flexible foot strap back onto itself to be fixed in position.

2. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 1, wherein the front forked end and the rear forked end of the chassis of each wheeled skate-ski are upwardly projected with the plurality of axle-receiving holes of each prong aligned in a substantially straight line forming an angle with the foot-receiving body portion of the chassis.

3. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 2, wherein the angle between the substantially straight line of the axle-receiving holes and the foot-receiving body portion of the chassis is between 30° and 60°.

4. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 3, wherein the adjustable binding of each wheeled skate-ski comprises: an outer shell of firm material, having spaced holes and cutouts, so the outer shell is adjustable to fit the user's shoe, and having fasteners to keep the outer shell in position when the wheeled skate-ski is in use; and an inner liner of soft material inside the outer shell, having a cutout and two overlapping portions, so the inner liner is adjustable to fit the user's shoe, and having a fastener to keep the overlapping portions in position when the wheeled skate-ski is in use.

5. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 4, wherein the fasteners of the outer shell of the adjustable binding are each a ratchet buckle and a strap.

6. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 4, wherein the fastener of the two overlapping portions of the inner liner of the adjustable binding is a hook-and-loop fastener.

7. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 4, wherein the outer shell of the adjustable binding has two overlapping portions; and the fasteners of the outer shell of the adjustable binding are fastened over the two overlapping portions of the outer shell, wherein one or more pairs of guide flanges are disposed on one of the overlapping portions for guiding and receiving the other overlapping portion in order to keep the two overlapping portions in alignment with each other when the wheeled skate-ski is in use.

8. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 4, wherein the two bottom portions of the adjustable binding and the two rear buckle slides of each wheeled skate-ski are fastened together at the respective side of the chassis.

9. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 3, wherein the angle between the substantially straight line of the axle-receiving holes and the foot-receiving body portion of the chassis is between 40° and 50°.

10. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 3, wherein the end of the flexible foot strap fastened to the first side of the chassis is inclined at an angle from a vertical line to the foot-receiving body portion of the chassis.

11. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 10, wherein the angle between the end of the flexible foot strap fastened to the first side of the chassis and a vertical line to the foot-receiving body portion of the chassis is between 10° and 20°.

12. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 3, wherein the first side of the chassis of each wheeled skate-ski has a plurality of front fastening holes for fastening the flexible foot strap to the first side of the chassis; and the second side of the chassis has a plurality of front fastening holes for fastening the front buckle slide to the second side of the chassis.

13. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 3, wherein the chassis of each wheeled skate-ski is obtained by cutting a shape corresponding to the chassis from a section of I-beam.

14. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 13, wherein the chassis of each wheeled skate-ski is cut by water jet technology.

15. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 3, wherein the chassis of each wheeled skate-ski is made by injection molding or compression molding.

16. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 3, wherein the chassis of each wheeled skate-ski is capable of receiving tires with diameters from 100 mm to 200 mm.

17. A pair of wheeled skate-skis for use on most terrains, as claimed in claim 16, wherein the outermost pairs of the axle-receiving holes are used for tires with diameters from about 175 mm to 200 mm.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application concerns improvements to a pair of wheeled skate-skis with brakes usable on most terrains made and used by applicant Patrick G. Gates, who is the patentee of related U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,943,075, 5,251,934, and 6,592,129. The information set forth in these patents pertains to his earlier pairs of wheeled skate-skis with brakes usable on most terrains. The information in these patents is incorporated into this application by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to wheeled skate-skis and more particularly to wheeled skate-skis with a one-piece foot strap for strapping down the shoes of the skate-ski user and a new chassis design allowing wheels of various sizes to be mounted on the chassis so that the skate-skis can be used on most terrains.

2. Description of the Related Art

In some similar respects to using side by side water skis and snow skis, side by side wheeled skis have been and are being used for travel over land. In 1973, Robert A. Peterson, in his U.S. Pat. No. 3,767,220 illustrated and described his two-wheeled vehicle for rollably supporting one foot of a person, as a like two-wheeled vehicle supported the person's other foot. The person, in a standup position, then maneuvered like he or she would snow-ski on a slope. Each vehicle had a frame supporting a pair of wheels at opposite ends and shaped so the person's feet are located close to ground level. Toe and heel clamps held the person's respective boots in position on the respective two-wheeled vehicles. A movable calf member was pivotally connected to each heel clamp, and it had a braking portion to be moved into braking contact with the inflated rear tire when the person altered his or her position to move his or her calf to thereby apply the brakes.

Also in 1973, John G. Nicolson, in his U.S. Pat. No. 3,749,413, illustrated and described his wheeled ski. Two of them side by side were used by a person when skiing over dry land using motions similar to snow skiing.

Earlier in 1966, Duane E. Blanchard, in his U.S. Pat. No. 3,365,208, illustrated and described his roller skis, one to be used on each foot as the person's shoes were respectively held in place by a cable-like binding on each roller ski. His roller skis were said to provide the skier with a high degree of maneuverability similar to using snow skis on snow. However, Duane E. Blanchard's roller skis had no brakes. John Tkaczyk, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,286,043 (1994), described a set of roller skates having a foot platform suspended between the front and rear wheels for increased stability. The invention also featured a retractable third wheel between the two main wheels and a means for adjusting the foot platform to accommodate shoes of different sizes.

Later, that same year, U.S. Pat. No. 5,312,120 was issued to Georg Wiegner. Wiegner's invention described a roller-ski having a front and a rear wheels that essentially are capable of moving back and forth laterally along their respective axles during use in order to provide increased maneuverability.

Then, in 1995, John Tkaczyk was issued another U.S. Pat. No. 5,398,950, for an “Interchangeable Roller Skate”. This invention is related to (a division of) his 1994 U.S. Pat. No. 5,286,043 patent mentioned above.

In 1999, U.S. Pat. No. 5,901,981 was awarded to Douglas Lucht, who described a roller-ski and brake apparatus primarily intended to simulate skiing on snow. The invention uses a plurality of in-line wheels that are mounted on a longitudinally flexible chassis member in such a way as to simulate the flexing nature of a real snow ski.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,116,619 was issued to Chuan-Fu Kao and Chi-Chun Chiu in 2000 for a “Sole Plate Structure with Shock Absorbing Effects for Roller Skates”. This invention utilizes a chassis that consists of at least two pieces, one rigidly connected to the front wheel and the other to the back wheel. The two pieces are hinged together with a spring to provide damping so that the front and back wheels are capable of vertical movement with respect to each other.

In 1990, Patrick G. Gates, in his U.S. Pat. No. 4,943,075, illustrated and described his pair of wheeled skate-skis with brakes usable on most terrains. Then in 1993, in his U.S. Pat. No. 5,251,934, he illustrated and described his improved pair of wheeled skate-skis with brakes usable on most terrains. Using a pair of these wheeled skate-skis with brakes while having his or her athletic shoes on, having his or her feet well held in surrounding bindings, and having convenient hand controls to operate the brakes, a person is able to travel on most terrains under better control. Most recently, in his U.S. Pat. No. 6,592,129, Mr. Gates illustrated and described a further improved pair of wheeled skate-skis with brakes usable on most terrains having higher performance hand-and-fingers-operated hydraulic brakes, an improved chassis providing a spring-like suspension and lower center of gravity, adjustable bindings comprised of a firm outer shell and a soft inner liner, and a removable mud flap.

The growing popularity of wheeled skate-skis and especially the fact that persons are now using them in more and more applications have increased the demand for a pair of skate-skis that are adaptable to a variety of situations and types of terrains. This versatility is most easily provided by changing the diameter, width, tread, and material of the wheels (in the latter case, for example, a switch from polyurethane wheels to pneumatic tires may be desirable). What is needed, then, is a pair of wheeled skate-skis that can be easily and quickly retrofitted in the field with different types of wheels. The spare wheels could, for example, be kept handy in the user's backpack. Previously existing skate-skies had wheel forks with fixed-position axle holes. To mount a smaller-size wheel would lead to a situation in which the bottom surface of the chassis might come unacceptably close to the ground or might even scrape the ground. A larger wheel, on the other hand, might not be mountable at all because there may not be enough clearance in the fork. Also, mounting a larger wheel in fixed-position axle holes leads to a situation in which the chassis (and therefore the center of gravity) is raised above the ground, causing potential stability problems to arise.

The applicant has provided a solution to these problems by creating a wheel fork angled upward that has holes placed therein at certain intervals such that the bottom of the chassis can be kept essentially at the same height above ground, regardless of the size of the wheels mounted. Larger wheels are mounted in the axle holes that are outboard and upward, whereas smaller wheels are progressively mounted in axle holes that are located inboard and lower. This arrangement also provides the proper amount of clearance between the outer edge of the various sizes of wheels and the chassis.

One of the main advantages of the present invention is that the center of gravity of the skate-skis, equipped with any of the various wheels that may be adapted to it, is lower than the center of gravity of all other skate-skis in this class, whether or not they have interchangeable wheels.

The substantial increase in the use of wheeled skate-skis has also lead to a considerable amount of user feedback as to the shortcomings of the mechanisms used to secure the user's foot or shoe to the chassis of the skate-ski. In many cases, users have found that their feet or shoes come loose prematurely from the skate-skis' bindings or that their feet or shoes shift to an uncomfortable position during an outing.

Through a substantial amount of research and testing, the applicant has come up with a solution that is as effective as it is deceptively simple. He has devised a single strap to secure the toe and front portion of the user's foot to the chassis. One end of this strap is affixed to the chassis, outboard of the user's toe, at a particular angle that is very critical and was ascertained through much experimentation. However, a benefit of affixing the outboard end of the strap at this critical angle is that it allows the strap to be wound around the front part of the user's foot, starting at the toe and moving backwards towards the ankle, in such a way that the strap binds the foot to the chassis in a very natural, comfortable—and most importantly—stable fashion. Moreover, the applicant discovered that the same anchor point angle is ideal for all sizes of shoes. Therefore, the anchor point angle does not have to be adjusted; however, means are provided to mode the anchor point laterally inboard and outboard to accommodate different sizes of shoes. The inboard end of the strap, after being wound around the foot one or more times, is affixed to itself on its final winding by means of a hook-and-loop fastener. The hook type material is placed on one side of the strap and the loop material on the other side. By this means the bottom side of the inboard end of the strap can be affixed to the top side of the immediately preceding strap winding.

A third issue that the applicant identified as a shortcoming of existing wheeled skate-skis is that the straps used to secure the upper part of the foot to the bindings will often form an angle, or “jackknife,” at the point where they are joined together with a buckle. This often leads to a situation in which the upper part of the foot becomes loose from the binding, leading to discomfort and lack of control for the user. This invention provides guide flanges on the buckles to prevent the straps from coming out of linear alignment with each other.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The wheeled skate-skis according to the present invention comprises: a chassis with upwardly projected forked ends; an adjustable binding for binding the wearer's foot; a flexible foot strap, a front buckle slide, and two rear buckle slides for strapping down the wearer's foot to the chassis; a front wheel assembly; a rear wheel assembly; and a hand-and-fingers-operated hydraulic braking system. The chassis has a foot-receiving body portion and two forked ends angled upward with axle-receiving holes disposed therein at certain intervals such that wheels of different sizes can be mounted using the axle-receiving holes. Larger wheels can be mounted using the axle-receiving holes that are further out and vertically higher, whereas smaller wheels can be progressively mounted using the axle-receiving holes that are further in and vertically lower. This arrangement provides a proper amount of clearance between the outer edge of the various sizes of wheels and the chassis and also allows the wheeled skate-skis to have adequate ground clearance while maintaining a low center of gravity for wheels of many different sizes.

One end of the flexible foot strap is affixed to one side (i.e. the first side) of the chassis at a particular angle that is very critical and was ascertained through much experimentation. This angle allows the foot strap to be easily wound across the front portion of the user's foot and through a front buckle slide attached to the other side (i.e. the second side) of the chassis. The foot strap is then tightly wound backwards towards the ankle and through a rear buckle slide attached to the first side of the chassis, then across the foot and through another rear buckle slide attached to the second side of the chassis, and then tightly folded back to be affixed to the foot strap itself. This way the foot strap binds the foot to the chassis in a natural, comfortable and stable fashion.

The adjustable binding comprises an outer layer of firm material and an inner liner of soft of softly padded material. When the wheeled skate-skis are in use, both the outer layer and the inner liner of the adjustable binding are kept in position with fasteners. To prevent the fasteners of the outer shell of the adjustable binding from going out of proper alignment, guide flanges are provided on one of two overlapping portions of the outer shell for guiding and receiving the other overlapping portion to keep the two overlapping portions in proper alignment.

Furthermore, the hand-and-fingers-operated hydraulic braking system for the wheeled skate-skis is improved from the one disclosed in one of the applicant's earlier patents to allow the brake fluid to bleed more easily.

Due to the particular structure of the chassis of the present invention, the chassis can be cut from a section of commercially available fiberglass I-beam at a relatively low cost compared to chassis made by other methods such as injection molding or compression molding.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of a pair of wheeled skate-skis according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the chassis of the wheeled skate-skis according to the present invention; it also illustrates how a shape corresponding to the chassis of the present invention can be cut from a section of I-beam.

FIG. 3 shows the flexible foot strap wound through the front buckle slide over the toe of the shoe of the skate-ski user according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 shows the flexible foot strap wound through the buckle slide on the first side of the chassis, following the step shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 shows the flexible foot strap wound through the buckle slide on the second side of the chassis and ready to be folded back to be fixed to itself with a hook-and-loop fastener.

FIG. 6 shows the flexible foot strap folded back and fixed to itself with a hook-and-loop fastener.

FIG. 7 shows the second side of the chassis and the flexible foot strap wound through the front buckle slide and the rear buckle slide on the second side of the chassis according to the present invention.

FIG. 8 shows that at the end where the flexible foot strap is fastened (or anchored) to the first side of the chassis, the flexible foot strap is inclined relative to a vertical line to the foot-receiving body portion of the chassis.

FIG. 9 shows that because of the way the foot is strapped to the chassis according to the present invention, some flexibility is allowed for the upward-forward movement of the heel of the foot.

FIG. 10 shows a top plan view of the chassis with the front wheel assembly and the rear wheel assembly according to the present invention.

FIG. 11 and FIG. 12 show that the chassis of the wheeled skate-ski of the present invention can be installed with wheels of various sizes.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiment of the pair of wheeled skate-skis 10 of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1. Each wheeled skate-ski 10 comprises a chassis, separately shown in FIG. 2, an adjustable binding 14, two rear buckle slides 16, a flexible foot strap 18, a front buckle slide 20, a front wheel assembly 40 and a rear wheel assembly 46.

The chassis is separately shown in FIG. 2. It has a foot-receiving body portion 123, a front forked end 124 and a rear forked end 126, wherein each of the forked ends 124,126 has two prongs 128, and each of the prongs 128 has a plurality of axle-receiving holes 130 disposed at certain intervals. Furthermore, the front forked end 124 and the rear forked end 126 of the chassis are upwardly projected relative to the foot-receiving body portion 123 with the plurality of axle-receiving holes 130 of each prong 128 aligned in a substantially straight line forming an angle with the foot-receiving body portion 123 of the chassis. The angle between the substantially straight line of the axle-receiving holes 130 and the foot-receiving body portion 123 of the chassis is preferably between 30° and 60°, and more preferably between 40° and 50°. The chassis further has a first side 121 and a second side 122, on each of which are disposed at least one rear fastening hole 125 and a plurality of front fastening holes 127. Each prong 128 of the rear forked end 126 is further provided with two brake fastening holes 132, preferably above the line of the axle-receiving holes 130, for fastening brakes.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3˜6, the adjustable binding 14 has two bottom portions 143 respectively fastened to the first side 121 of the chassis and the second side 122 of the chassis, each using a rear fastening hole 125. The adjustable binding 14 further comprises an outer shell 141 of firm material and an inner liner 142 of soft or softly padded material inside the outer shell 141. The outer shell 141 has spaced holes and cutouts so that it is sufficiently flexible and adjustable to fit a person's shoe; the outer shell 141 has fasteners 144 to keep the outer shell 141 in position when the wheeled skate-ski 10 is in use. As an example, the fasteners 144 for the outer shell 141 may each be a ratchet buckle with a strap as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3˜6. The inner liner 142 has a cutout and two overlapping portions, so it is adjustable to fit a person's shoe; the inner liner 142 has a fastener to keep the overlapping portions in position when the wheeled skate-ski 10 is in use. As an example, the fastener of the two overlapping portions of the inner liner 142 may be a hook-and-loop fastener, commonly known as a Velcro® fastener.

As shown in FIG. 3, the outer shell 141 of the adjustable binding 14 has two pairs of matching overlapping portions 150,151 across and over the wearer's foot, the overlapping portion 150 has two guide flanges 154 respectively disposed at positions corresponding to the upper edge and the lower edge of the other overlapping portion 151 so that the two overlapping portions 150,151 can be kept in alignment with each other when the wheeled skate-ski 10 is in use. In the embodiment shown, the fastener 144 for the outer shell 141 consists of a ratchet buckle attached to the overlapping portion 151 and a strap attached to the overlapping portion 150. However, the positions of the ratchet buckle and the strap of the fastener 144 can be reversed. Preferably the guide flanges 154 and the overlapping portion 150 are integrally molded in one piece. One fastener 144 of the outer shell 141 is disposed over each pair of matching overlapping portions 150,151 between the two guide flanges 154. Though two pairs of matching overlapping portions 150,151 are shown in FIG. 3, a different number of pairs of matching overlapping portions 150,151 can be used.

Two rear buckle slides 16 are fastened to the chassis, one to the first side 121 and the other to the second side 122 of the chassis at corresponding locations across the foot-receiving body portion 123 of the chassis. Each of the rear buckle slides 16 is fastened to the chassis using a rear fastening hole 125. A front buckle slide 20 is fastened to the second side 122 of the chassis using a front fastening hole 127. Further, a long, sturdy, flexible foot strap 18 is fastened at one end to the first side 121 of the chassis, across the foot-receiving body portion 123 from the front buckle slide 20 on the second side 122 of the chassis using a pair of the front fastening holes 127. Referring to FIGS. 3˜6, a shoe worn by a person can be securely bound in the adjustable binding 14 and strapped down to the foot-receiving body portion 123 of the chassis by tightly winding the flexible foot strap 18 sequentially across the front portion of the foot, through the front buckle slide 20 on the second side 122 of the chassis (see FIG. 3), rearward across the foot, through the rear buckle slide 16 on the first side 121 of the chassis (see FIG. 4), and through the rear buckle slide 16 on the second side 122 of the chassis (see FIGS. 5 and 7); then tightly folding the flexible foot strap 18 back onto itself between the two rear buckle slides 16; and finally fixing the flexible foot strap 18 in position (see FIG. 6). The flexible foot strap 18 can be affixed to itself with a hook-and-loop fastener. For example, as shown in FIG. 5, the hook type surface is placed on an end portion of the flexible foot strap 18 and the loop surface on a corresponding portion of the flexible foot strap 18. FIG. 7 illustrates a side view of the skate-ski 10 with a shoe securely strapped in position by the flexible foot strap 18 in the manner described above.

As shown in FIG. 8, the end of the flexible foot strap 18 affixed to the first side 121 of the chassis is inclined at an angle θ from a vertical line to the foot-receiving body portion 123 of the chassis. The angle θ is preferably between 10° and 20°. To fix the angle, it is preferable for the flexible foot strap 18 to be fastened to the first side 121 of the chassis using at least two front fastening holes 127 as shown in the various figures. It was discovered by the inventor that the same range of values for θ works well for most shoe sizes. Therefore, the angle does not have to be adjusted. Further, additional front fastening holes 127 are provided on the first side 121 of the chassis to allow the anchor point of the flexible foot strap 18 to be moved laterally forward or backward to accommodate different shoe sizes.

Each of the buckle slides 20 and 16 needs only one buckle hole for the flexible foot strap 18 to pass through, although other types of buckle slides or adapters, such as the two-hole buckle slide (with a cross bar between the two holes) as shown in FIGS. 3˜9, can also be used. Depending upon the shoe sizes and the desired tightness of the flexible foot strap 18, the user may want to wind the flexible foot strap 18 through different holes of the buckle slides 20 and 16. Namely, extra holes of the buckle slides provide extra flexibility in using the skate-ski 10.

For the purpose of strapping down the flexible foot strap 18, the first side is preferably the outer side, i.e. the right-hand side for the right wheeled skate-ski 10 and the left-hand side for the left wheeled skate-ski 10.

As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the two bottom portions 143 of the adjustable binding 14 and the two rear buckle slides 16 are fastened together to the respective side 121,122 of the chassis using the same fasteners through the rear fastening holes 125. However, the bottom portions 143 of the adjustable binding 14 and the rear buckle slides 16 can certainly be separately fastened to the respective sides 121,122 of the chassis.

As illustrated in FIGS. 8 and 9, the particular embodiment disclosed in this invention allows the heels of the user of the wheeled skate-skis 10 to move above and away from the foot-receiving body portion 123 of the chassis, thus providing an increased flexibility in the user's movement.

The front wheel assembly 40 and the rear wheel assembly 46 are essentially the same as those described in the U.S. Pat. No. 6,592,129 ('129 patent), particularly FIGS. 3˜6 thereof. Briefly, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 10, the front wheel assembly 40 has a wheel 50, a tire 110 and an axle 86, positioned on the front forked end 124 of the chassis using a pair of fasteners 90 and axle-receiving holes 130, one on each prong 128 of the front forked end 124. Similarly, the rear wheel assembly 46 has a wheel 50, a tire 110 and an axle 86, positioned on the rear forked end 126 of the chassis using a pair of fasteners 90 and axle-receiving holes 130, one on each prong 128 of the rear forked end 126. The tires can be pneumatic tires or solid plastic tires made of polyurethane (PU) or other plastics.

The pair of wheeled skate-skis 10 can further include a hydraulic braking system as described in the '129 patent. The '129 patent is incorporated herein by reference as far as the details of the hydraulic braking system are concerned. An improvement to the hydraulic braking system described therein is provided here, which allows bleeding of the braking fluid in the hydraulic braking system of the '129 patent. Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7 of the '129 patent, a hole can be drilled through the extended end of the fitting 64 of the brake cylinder assembly 66 into the fluid passageway 65 of the fitting 64; normally, the hole will be sealed by a brake fluid bleed tap, which is removable to allow bleeding of the brake fluid inside the hydraulic braking system. As an example, the hole at the extended end of the fitting 64 may be a threaded hole and the brake fluid bleed tap a matching screw. To bleed the brake fluid, the user simply loosens the screw and removes the brake fluid from the hydraulic braking system.

The manufacture of the chassis will be described below. The chassis can be made by compression molding or injection molding from various thermoset resins or thermoplastic resins. Alternatively, as illustrated in FIG. 2, the chassis can be formed by cutting a predetermined shape from a fiberglass I-beam section. The I-beam section has two flanges and a web connecting the two flanges. The flanges are cut so that in the middle portion of the I-beam section they are flush with one side of the web, forming the foot-receiving body portion 123 of the chassis. At each end of the I-beam section, the flanges are cut in such as way as to form two broader prongs 128 curving upwards at an angle. A plurality of axle-receiving holes 130 and the brake fastening holes 132 are then drilled through each prong 128 at corresponding locations so that the axle-receiving holes 130 on one flange are in alignment with those on the other flange as described above. Water jet technology can be used to cut the chassis of the present application from a fiberglass I-beam section.

Another important feature of the skate-ski 10 according to the present invention is that it can be used with a wide range of wheel sizes. The higher, outer holes on the prongs 128 allow wheels of larger diameters to be installed. Note that as illustrated in FIG. 10, the ends of the foot-receiving body portion 123 of the chassis must be sufficiently recessed inwards relative to the forked ends 124, 126 to accommodate wheels 50 and tires 110 of different sizes installed on the prongs 128. However, excess recessing of the foot-receiving body portion 123 may compromise the structural integrity of the chassis. In general, wheels with tires of the diameter from 100 mm to 200 mm (i.e. 4″ to 8″) are found to be suitable for the wheeled skate-skis 10 of the present invention in terms of comfort and stability, as illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12. For example, in a preferred embodiment of the present invention, four axle-receiving holes 130 are provided on each prong 128 of the front and rear forked ends 124,126, such that wheels with 7″ or 8″ pneumatic tires can be mounted at the highest axle-receiving holes 130, wheels with 6″ pneumatic tires or 145 mm polyurethane (PU) tires can be mounted at the second highest axle-receiving holes 130, wheels with 5″ pneumatic tires or 120 or 125 mm PU tires can be mounted at the second lowest axle-receiving holes 130, and wheels with 100 or 110 mm PU tires can be mounted at the lowest axle-receiving holes 130.