Title:
Support Deck for Treadmill
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A support deck for a treadmill is disposed under an upper stretch of an endless tread belt to support the tread belt and a user thereon. The support deck includes a plurality of indentations on a top surface thereof. Lubricant or lubricating oil is received in the indentations for lubrication between the support deck and the tread belt, thereby reducing friction between the support deck and the tread belt. Thus, the wear of the tread belt decreases, and the life of the tread belt increases. Moreover, the support deck may further include a plurality of ridges on the top surface thereof to offer foot reflexology.



Inventors:
Chiang, Yung-chang (Kaohsiung, TW)
Application Number:
11/965287
Publication Date:
07/02/2009
Filing Date:
12/27/2007
Assignee:
ODENWALD WOOD PRODUCTS CO., LTD. (Kaohsiung, TW)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B22/02
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Wpat, PC Intellectual Property Attorneys (2030 MAIN STREET, SUITE 1300, IRVINE, CA, 92614, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A support deck for a treadmill disposed under an upper stretch of an endless tread belt, a top surface of the support deck being contacted with a bottom surface of the upper stretch of the tread belt, and supporting the tread belt and a user thereon, the support deck comprising: a plurality of indentations on the top surface of the support deck for receiving one of lubricant and lubricating oil; wherein the lubricant and the lubricating oil provides lubrication between the support deck and the tread belt.

2. The support deck as claimed in claim 1, wherein the indentations are circular cavities.

3. The support deck as claimed in claim 1, wherein the indentations are longitudinal grooves.

4. The support deck as claimed in claim 1, wherein the indentations are transverse grooves.

5. The support deck as claimed in claim 1, wherein the indentations are slanted grooves.

6. The support deck as claimed in claim 1, wherein the indentations are V-shaped grooves.

7. The support deck as claimed in claim 1, wherein the indentations are short grooves.

8. The support deck as claimed in claim 7, wherein the short grooves are alternately arranged in rows and along a longitudinal direction of the support deck.

9. The support deck as claimed in claim 1, wherein the support deck comprises ridges on the top surface of the support deck.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a support deck for a treadmill that supports a tread belt and an exercising user thereon.

2. The Prior Arts

A treadmill is an indoor sporting equipment used to allow for running or walking while staying in one place. The treadmill provides a convenient way to regularly exercise in all weather conditions in the comfort and safety of indoor. Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a conventional treadmill includes a support deck 1, a tread belt 2, a driving roller 3 and a driven roller 4. The driving roller 3 and the driven roller 4 are mounted on a tread frame of the treadmill. The tread belt 2, which is made of an elastomeric material of high strength and high toughness, is entrained around driving roller 3 and the driven roller 4. The driving roller 3 is driven by a motor and the tread belt 2 is driven by the driving roller 3. The endless tread belt 2 includes an upper stretch extending longitudinally between the rollers 3 and 4 adapted to enable a user to walk or run thereon. The support deck 1 is disposed under the upper stretch of the tread belt 2 for supporting the upper stretch and the user thereon.

The tread belt 2 continuously moves above the support deck 1. An under side of the upper stretch of the tread belt 2 rubs against a top surface of the support deck 1, which wears the tread belt 2. Moreover, the weight of the user is applied on the support deck 1 so the friction between the support deck 1 and the tread belt 2 increases. Accordingly, the conventional support deck 1 is provided with a very smooth top surface to reduce the friction between the support deck 1 and the tread belt 2.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Friction wears away contact surfaces of moving parts and therefore the friction between a tread belt and a support deck for a treadmill shortens the life of the tread belt. The friction also generates noises while the treadmill is in operation. Moreover, the friction results in energy inefficient problem because a motor of the treadmill needs a larger load capacity to overcome the friction. A conventional support deck for a treadmill has a smooth top surface to reduce the friction between the support deck and the tread belt. However, reduction of the friction by this method is limited. It is hard to further reduce the friction by providing a much smoother surface. A primary objective of the present invention is to provide a support deck for a treadmill that can solve the problems mentioned above.

The solution of the present invention is to provide a plurality of cavities or grooves on the support deck to receive lubricant or lubricating oil. When the endless tread belt rubs against the support deck, the lubricating oil or lubricant makes a film between them so as to minimize direct contact between them. Thus, the friction and wear of the tread belt decrease. The life of the tread belt increases.

In addition to providing the cavities and the grooves on the support deck, a top surface of the support deck is provided with a very smooth surface, such as a surface having mirror finish. Thus, lubrication and very smooth surface can further decrease the friction between the support deck and the tread belt.

The cavities on the support deck according to the present invention may be circular cavities or cavities in any shapes.

The grooves on the support deck according to the present invention may be longitudinal grooves, transverse grooves, slanted grooves, V-shaped grooves or short grooves.

The support deck according to the present invention minimizes the wear of the tread belt and the support deck and thus increases the life of the tread belt and the support deck. Also, the support deck reduces the noises while the treadmill is in operation. Because the direct contact between the tread belt and the support deck is minimized, the load capacity of the motor is reduced. Therefore, the treadmill uses less energy, saves money, and helps protect the environment.

The support deck according to the present invention may further include a plurality of ridges. When the user runs on the treadmill, the ridges on the support deck massage the feet and offer foot reflexology.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art by reading the following detailed description of preferred embodiments thereof, with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a conventional treadmill;

FIG. 2 is a schematic view showing the conventional treadmill that has a tread belt and a support deck;

FIG. 3A is a schematic view showing a support deck for a treadmill according to a first embodiment of the present invention, an endless tread belt and rollers;

FIG. 3B is a schematic view showing a support deck for a treadmill according to a second embodiment of the present invention, the tread belt and the rollers;

FIG. 4A is a schematic view showing a plurality of circular cavities on the support deck according to the present invention;

FIG. 4B is a schematic view showing a plurality of longitudinal grooves on the support deck according to the present invention;

FIG. 4C is a schematic view showing a plurality of transverse grooves on the support deck according to the present invention;

FIG. 4D is a schematic view showing a plurality of slanted grooves on the support deck according to the present invention;

FIG. 4E is a schematic view showing a plurality of V-shaped grooves on the support deck according to the present invention; and

FIG. 4F is a schematic view showing a plurality of short grooves on the support deck according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 3A, a support deck 1 for a treadmill is disposed under an upper stretch of an endless tread belt 2 to support the tread belt 2 and an user thereon. The tread belt 2 is entrained around roller 3 and 4. The support deck 1 according to the present invention includes a plurality of indentations on a top surface thereof. Lubricant or lubricating oil 5 is received in the indentations for lubrication between the support deck 1 and the tread belt 2. The support deck 1 may include curved ridges 10 (as shown in FIG. 3A) or flat surfaces (as shown in FIG. 3B) at portions between the indentations. The top surface of the support deck 1 is provided with a very smooth surface, such as a surface having mirror finish. Thus, the lubrication and the very smooth surface can further decrease the friction between the support deck 1 and the tread belt 2, thereby reducing the wear of the support deck 1 and the tread belt 2. Therefore, the life of the support deck 1 and the tread belt 2 increases. The ridges 10 offer foot reflexology and improve general health.

The indentations on the support deck 1 may be in various forms. For example, the indentations may be circular cavities 11 (as shown in FIG. 4A), longitudinal grooves 12 extended along a longitudinal direction of the support deck 1 (as shown in FIG. 4B), transverse grooves 13 extended along a transverse direction of the support deck 1 (as shown in FIG. 4C), slanted grooves 14 (as shown in FIG. 4D), V-shaped grooves 15 (as shown in FIG. 4E), short grooves 16 alternately disposed in rows (as shown in FIG. 4F) or indentations in any shapes. No matter which shapes the indentations are, the lubricant and the lubricating oil can well be received in the indentations.

Although the present invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments thereof, it is apparent to those skilled in the art that a variety of modifications and changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention which is intended to be defined by the appended claims.