Title:
Rear support device for an assembly for retaining a boot on a sports apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rear support device having a rear support element, an abutment, and a mechanism for immobilizing the abutment with respect to the rear support element. The device includes a first wedge connected to the rear support element, and a second wedge connected to the abutment, at least one of the two wedges being movable to occupy at least two stable positions with respect to the piece to which it is connected, such that various portions of a wedge can be in contact with the other wedge.



Inventors:
Couderc, Bernard (Annecy, FR)
Application Number:
09/990284
Publication Date:
05/30/2002
Filing Date:
11/23/2001
Assignee:
SALOMON S.A. (Metz-Tessy, FR)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
36/118.7
International Classes:
A63C10/24; A63C10/04; (IPC1-7): A43B5/04
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Primary Examiner:
PHAN, HAU VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GREENBLUM & BERNSTEIN, P.L.C. (RESTON, VA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A rear support device comprising: a rear support element, an abutment, and an immobilizing mechanism for immobilizing the abutment with respect to the rear support element, in a position selected along a main direction of the rear support element; a first wedge connected to the rear support element, and a second wedge connected to fie abutment, said first and second wedges being arranged so as to limit a displacement of the abutment in one direction along the main direction, at least one of said first and second wedges being movable to occupy at least two stable positions with respect to a piece to which it is connected, such that various portions of a wedge can be in contact with the other wedge.

2. A rear support device according to claim 1, wherein: the first wedge is fixed with respect to the rear support element; and the second wedge is movable with respect to the abutment.

3. A rear support device according to claim 2, wherein the first wedge has the shape of a stair, whose steps are substantially perpendicular to the main direction, and wherein the second wedge is housed in a channel of the abutment oriented along a transverse direction, the second wedge having a second section arranged to come in contact with one of the steps of the first wedge.

4. A rear support device according to claim 3, wherein cavities of the abutment are provided to alternately receive a tooth of the second wedge.

5. A rear support device according to claim 3, wherein the stair has three steps, and wherein the abutment has three cavities.

6. A rear support device according to claim 4, wherein the length of the steps of the stair is constant, and wherein the distance that separates two successive cavities is constant.

7. An assembly for retaining a boot on a gliding board, said assembly comprising: a rear support device including a rear support element, an abutment, and an immobilizing mechanism to immobilize the abutment with respect to the rear support element in a position selected along a main direction of the rear support element; a first wedge connected to the rear support element, and a second wedge connected to the abutment, the first and second wedges being arranged so as to limit a displacement of the abutment in one direction along the main direction, at least one of the first and second wedges being movable to occupy at least two stable positions with respect to the piece to which it is connected, such that various portions of a wedge can be in contact with the other wedge.

8. A boot comprising: a rear support device including a rear support element, an abutment, and an immobilizing mechanism to immobilize the abutment with respect to the rear support element in a position selected along a main direction of the rear support element; a first wedge connected to the rear support element, and a second wedge connected to the abutment, the first and second wedges being arranged so as to limit a displacement of the abutment in one direction along the main direction, at least one of the first and second wedges being movable to occupy at least two stable positions with respect to the piece to which it is connected, such that various portions of a wedge can be in contact with the other wedge.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is based upon French Patent Application No. 00 15369, filed Nov. 24, 2000, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference thereto in its entirety, and the priority of which is hereby claimed under 35 U.S.C. ยง119.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The invention relates to the field of rear support devices provided to withstand forces applied by the rear of the lower leg of a user.

[0004] Each device can be part of an assembly for retaining a boot on a sports apparatus, or can be part of the boot.

[0005] 2. Description Background and Relevant Information

[0006] Devices of the aforementioned type are used in fields such snowboarding, siding, snowshoeing, roller skating, and the like.

[0007] A flexible boot enables a user to perform movements with his/her legs to operate the apparatus. Sometimes, it is useful that the user take support, and exert forces, using the rear of the lower leg.

[0008] For example, in snowboarding, an assembly for retaining a boot generally includes a rear support device, so that the user can press on the running edge located toward of the heels. An abutment is arranged on the device to adjust the inclination of the support device with respect to the assembly. The adjustment is done by adjusting the vertical position of the abutment.

[0009] From an initial setting, the inclination can be modified by the user or by someone else. If the user wishes to return to the initial setting thereafter, he/she must generally try several successive settings

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] An object of the invention is to make it possible to return to the initial setting more easily and more quickly.

[0011] To this end, the invention proposes a rear support device that includes a rear support element an abutment, and an immobilizing mechanism that makes it possible to immobilize the abutment with respect to the rear support element, in a position selected along a main direction of the rear support element.

[0012] The device according to the invention further includes a first wedge connected to the rear support element, and a second wedge connected to the abutment, the two wedges being arranged so as to limit the displacement of the abutment in one direction along the main direction, at least one of the two wedges being movable to occupy at least two stable positions wit respect to the piece to which it is connected, such that various portions of a wedge can be in contact with the other wedge,

[0013] For each inclination adjustment that is suitable to the user, the user can place the wedges in contact with one another by displacing the movable wedge(s). The position of the abutment can then be modified without changing the position of the wedges. Thus, another adjustment of the inclination of the rear support element can be used.

[0014] If the user wishes to return to the starting setting, he/she only needs to displace the abutment to put it back in the position for which the wedges contact one another.

[0015] Returning to the suitable setting is easy and quick. It is not necessary to try several successive settings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0016] Other characteristics and advantages of the invention will be better understood from the description that follows, with reference to the annexed drawings showing, by way of non-limiting examples, how the invention can be embodied, and in which:

[0017] FIG. 1 is a perspective rear view of an assembly for retaining a boot, the assembly including a rear support device according to the invention;

[0018] FIG. 2 is a partially exploded view similar to FIG. 1;

[0019] FIG. 3 is a partial cross-section of the device, taken along the line III-III of FIG. 1, for a given configuration of the device;

[0020] FIG. 4 is a cross-section taken along the line IV-IV of FIG. 3;

[0021] FIG. 5 is a cross-section similar to FIG. 3, for another configuration of the device; and

[0022] FIG. 6 is a cross-section taken along the line VI-VI of FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0023] In FIG. 1, a retaining assembly 1 is provided to detachably retain a boot (not shown) on a board 2.

[0024] In a known manner, the assembly 1 has a base 3 that extends along a longitudinal direction L of the device, between a rear end 4 and a front end 5. The base 3 is retained on the board 2 by a means shown in the form of a disk 6 and one or more screws 7.

[0025] Extending upwardly at the sides of the base 3 are a first lateral flange 8 and a second lateral flange 9. An arch 10 connects the flanges 8, 9 to one another toward the rear end 4 of the base 3.

[0026] The boot is retained on the base 3 by means of removable linkages 11, 12, which connect the flanges 8, 9 to one another.

[0027] A rear support device enables the user to take rear supports, ire., exert forces, with the lower leg.

[0028] This device includes a rear support element 13 affixed to the flanges 8, 9 by a means shown in the form of a journal extending along a transverse as W of the device 1.

[0029] An abutment 14 of the device limits the rearward rotation of the rear support element 13 along the transverse axis W by being supported on the arch 10. This support can be direct, or it can be indirect via a pad 15.

[0030] The abutment 14 is immobilized with respect to the rear support element 13 in a position selected along a main direction M of the rear support element 13. The main direction M extends between a lower end 16 and an upper end 17 of the rear support element 13.

[0031] FIG. 2 shows better how the abutment 14 is immobilized.

[0032] A rack 18 projects with respect to a rear surface 19 of the rear support element 13. Another rack 20 is arranged on a front surface 21 of the abutment 14, A removable tightening means, shown in the form of a screw 22, makes it possible to tighten the abutment 14 on the rear support element 13, such that the racks 18, 20 are engaged with one another. Depending upon the relative position of the racks 18, 20 after tightening, the position of the abutment 14 along the main direction M of the rear support element 13 is not the same.

[0033] It is thus possible to adjust the rearward inclination of the rear support element 13.

[0034] According to the invention, the rear support device has a memory, i.e., the selected position which the abutment 14 can occupy along the rear support element 13 is memorized.

[0035] This memory is provided by a first wedge 30 connected to the rear support element 13, on the rear surface 19, on the one hand, and a second wedge 40 connected to the abutment 14, on the other hand.

[0036] The first wedge 30 is preferably located above the rack 18, i.e., closer to the upper end 17 of the element 13. The wedge 30 is shown in the form of a stair having free steps, in this case, a lower step 31, an intermediate step 32, and an upper step 33. The number of steps could be different.

[0037] Each of the steps 31, 32, 33 is preferably substantially perpendicular to the main direction M. The distance that separates two successive steps, along the main direction, is preferably constant. It can be comprised, for example, between 1 and 4 millimeters.

[0038] The length of the steps, in the transverse direction of the rear support element 13, is also preferably constant, It is also comprised between 1 and 4 millimeters.

[0039] The wedge 30 is affixed to the rear support element 13 by any means, such as screws or glue, or it can be unitary or integral therewith. As a result, the wedge 30 is fixed with respect to the rear support element 13.

[0040] The second wedge 40 of the memory is movable with respect to the abutment 14.

[0041] The second wedge 40 is shown in the form of a bar that includes a first narrow section 41 juxtaposed with a second wider section 42. See, e.g., FIGS. 4 and 6. The second wedge 40 can be displaced transversely with respect to the abutment 14. Preferably, as many transverse positions of the second wedge 40 as the number of steps of the first wedge 30 are provided.

[0042] For each of these positions, the joining end of the second wide section 42, located toward the narrow section 41, is opposite one of the steps of the fist wedge 30.

[0043] The second wedge 40 is housed in a channel 43 of the abutment 14, which is substantially oriented along the transverse direction W.

[0044] The positioning of the wedge 40 in the channel is cared out by placing an introduction end 44 of the wedge 40 at the inlet of the channel 43, on the side of a first lateral surface 45 of the abutment 14.

[0045] By then pushing the wedge 40 from the first surface 45 toward a second lateral surface 46, the wedge 40 becomes housed in the channel 43.

[0046] A first lug 47, located toward the introduction end 44, enables the insertion of the wedge 40 into the channel 43 in one direction, and opposes the exit thereof in the opposite direction.

[0047] A second lug 48, located toward a distal end 49 opposite the introduction end 44, limits the displacement of the wedge 40 in the introduction direction.

[0048] As is better understood by means of FIGS. 3-6 the second wedge 40 can occupy three stable positions with respect to the abutment 14.

[0049] As seen, for example, in FIG. 3, a tooth 50 projects with respect to an upper surface 51 of the wedge 40. A first 52, second 53, and third 54 cavity of the abutment 14 are provided to alternately receive the tooth 50 of the wedge 40, Preferably, the distance that separates two successive cavities is constant.

[0050] To select the desired cavity, it suffices to push the introduction end 44 or the distal end 49 of the wedge 40.

[0051] A slit 55 of the wedge 40 enables a reversible elastic deformation of the latter, so that the tooth 50 can leave one cavity and become housed in another.

[0052] It is provided that the distance that separates two successive cavities be substantially equal to the length of a step of the first wedge 30, and that the form of the pieces be such that when the tooth 50 of the second wedge 40 is in a cavity, the joining end of the second section 42 is then plumb with a step,

[0053] According to the cavity selection shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the second section 42 of the wedge 40 is provided to come in contact with the upper step 33.

[0054] According to the cavity selection shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, the second section 42 of the wedge 40 is provided to come in contact with the lower step 31.

[0055] The adjustment of the position of the abutment 14 with respect to the rear support element 13 is done as follows.

[0056] The user slightly loosens the screw 22 to move the abutment 14 away from the rear support element 13, such that the racks 18, 20 are no longer engaged with one another. To memorize a position of the abutment 14, he/she raises the abutment 14 toward the upper end 17 of the rear support element 13. Then, he/she slides the second wedge 40 in the channel 43. This maneuver selects the step of the first wedge 30 with which the desired second wedge 40 is to come in contact. Finally, the abutment 14 is lowered until the first wedge 30 limits the displacement of the abutment 14. The user then only has to tighten the screw 22 again to engage the racks 18, 20 with one another.

[0057] Preferably, the pitch of the teeth of the racks 18, 20 is equal to the height of the steps of the first wedge 30. But the wedge 30 is arranged such that when the teeth of the racks 18, 20 are in contact with one another, a slight clearance remains between the second wedge 40 and the memorization step. Thus, no force is exerted on the steps.

[0058] Only the racks 18, 20 withstand the forces associated with the user taking a rear support, i.e., when the abutment 14 is biased against the arch 10.

[0059] Furthermore, the user can adjust the position of the abutment 14 in different ways while keeping the same position of the second wedge 40.

[0060] From a memorized reference position of the abutment 14, with respect to the rear support element 13, the user can test other positions. To this end, it suffices to displace the abutment 14, but without changing the position of the second wedge 40,

[0061] To return to the memorized position, it suffices to bring the abutment 14 back to its initial position, which is provided by the relative position of the wedges 30 and 40.

[0062] In the case of FIGS. 3 and 4, the abutment 14 is in a raised position. The second wedge 40 is at the level of the upper step 33 of the wedge 30. As a result, the rearward inclination of the rear support element 13 is maximum.

[0063] Conversely, in the case of FIGS. 5 and 6, the abutment 14 is in a lower position, The second wedge 40 is at the level of the lower step 31 of the wedge 30. As a result, the rearward inclination of the rear support element 13 is minimum.

[0064] The invention can be embodied with all of the materials and according to all of the techniques known to a person with ordinary skill in the art. In particular, the wedges 30, 40 can be made of plastic materials.

[0065] The invention is not limited to the above example, and includes all the technical equivalents that fall within the scope of the claims that follow.

[0066] In particular, a different number of stable positions of the second wedge could be provided. In this case, the number of steps of the first wedge and the number of cavities of the abutment would be different.

[0067] It could be provided that the wedge connected to the rear support element be movable. In this case, the wedge connected to the abutment can be fixed or also movable.

[0068] Other forms could be provided for obtaining the components of the device 1. Each movable wedge could be rotationally guided, and not translationally as in the example described.





 
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