Title:
Roller skate
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a skate including base structure attached to and underlying a durable foot covering having heel and toe ends. A first axle is pivoted to the base structure proximate the heel end and has opposing ends. The opposing ends of the first axle carry opposing parallel first and second in-line wheeled frameworks. A second axle is pivoted to the base structure proximate the toe end and has opposing ends. The opposing ends of the second axle carry opposing parallel third and fourth opposing parallel third and fourth in-line wheeled frameworks.



Inventors:
Lynn, Ricky L. (Peoria, AZ, US)
Application Number:
10/060534
Publication Date:
07/31/2003
Filing Date:
01/30/2002
Assignee:
LYNN RICKY L.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C17/04; (IPC1-7): A63C17/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080231029Tool support adapter for trailer hitch receiverSeptember, 2008Hummel
20040080140Interchangeable pintle hook and ball mount for steel bed truckApril, 2004Hart
20080284139Special portable vending machine trailer deviceNovember, 2008Shockley
20070205239Object carrier with flexible exchangeable support armSeptember, 2007Richter
20080290632Adjustable foot rest (for harness racehorse jogging cart)November, 2008Guadagni et al.
20010030403Dog grooming cartOctober, 2001Johnson et al.
20090058064Ski Pole BasketMarch, 2009Ford III et al.
20020180168ScooterDecember, 2002Rizk
20090273151Toy chest and wagonNovember, 2009Young
20080111365Pole AttachmentMay, 2008Kraabel
20020060433Convertible wheel apparatus for a skating deviceMay, 2002Cochimin



Primary Examiner:
PHAN, HAU VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBERT A. PARSONS (Scottsdale, AZ, US)
Claims:

Having fully described the invention in such clear and concise terms as to enable those skilled in the art to understand and practice the same, the invention claimed is:



1. Apparatus comprising: base structure attached to and underlying a durable foot covering having heel and toe ends; a first truck comprising: a first axle pivoted to the base structure proximate the heel end and having opposing ends, and opposing parallel first and second in-line wheeled frameworks, the first in-line wheeled framework secured to one of the opposing ends of the first axle and the second in-line wheeled framework secured to the other of the opposing ends of the first axle; and a second truck comprising: a second axle pivoted to the base structure proximate the toe end and having opposing ends, and opposing parallel third and fourth in-line wheeled frameworks, the third in-line wheeled framework secured to one of the opposing ends of the second axle and the fourth in-line wheeled framework secured to the other of the opposing ends of the second axle.

2. Apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first in-line wheeled framework is in-line with the third in-line wheeled framework.

3. Apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second in-line wheeled framework is in-line with the fourth in-line wheeled framework.

4. Apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first in-line wheeled framework comprises: a coupling secured to the one of the opposing ends of the first axle; and in-line wheels rotated to the coupling.

5. Apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second in-line wheeled framework comprises: a coupling secured to the other of the opposing ends of the first axle; and in-line wheels rotated to the coupling.

6. Apparatus of claim 1, wherein the third in-line wheeled framework comprises: a coupling secured to the one of the opposing ends of the second axle; and in-line wheels rotated to the coupling.

7. Apparatus of claim 1, wherein the fourth in-line wheeled framework comprises: a coupling secured to the other of the opposing ends of the second axle; and in-line wheels rotated to the coupling.

8. Apparatus comprising: base structure attached to and underlying a durable foot covering having heel and toe ends; a first wheeled truck attached to the base structure proximate the heel end and a second wheeled truck attached to the base structure proximate the toe end, one of the first and second wheeled trucks comprising: a first axle pivoted to the base structure and having opposing ends, and opposing parallel first and second in-line wheeled frameworks, the first in-line wheeled framework secured to one of the opposing ends of the first axle and the second in-line wheeled framework secured to the other of the opposing ends of the first axle.

9. Apparatus of claim 8, the other of the first and second wheeled trucks comprising: a second axle pivoted to the base structure and having opposing ends, and opposing parallel third and fourth in-line wheeled frameworks, the third in-line wheeled framework secured to one of the opposing ends of the second axle and the fourth in-line wheeled framework secured to the other of the opposing ends of the second.

10. Apparatus of claim 9, wherein the first in-line wheeled framework is in-line with the third in-line wheeled framework.

11. Apparatus of claim 9, wherein the second in-line wheeled framework is in-line with the fourth in-line wheeled framework.

12. Apparatus of claim 8, wherein the first in-line wheeled framework comprises: a coupling secured to the one of the opposing ends of the first axle; and in-line wheels rotated to the coupling.

13. Apparatus of claim 8, wherein the second in-line wheeled framework comprises: a coupling secured to the other of the opposing ends of the first axle; and in-line wheels rotated to the coupling.

14. Apparatus of claim 9, wherein the third in-line wheeled framework comprises: a coupling secured to the one of the opposing ends of the second axle; and in-line wheels rotated to the coupling.

15. Apparatus of claim 9, wherein the fourth in-line wheeled framework comprises: a coupling secured to the other of the opposing ends of the second axle; and in-line wheels rotated to the coupling.

16. A method comprising steps of: providing base structure attached to and underlying a durable foot covering having heel and toe ends; providing a first truck comprising: a first axle having opposing ends, and opposing parallel first and second in-line wheeled frameworks, the first in-line wheeled framework secured to one of the opposing ends of the first axle and the second in-line wheeled framework secured to the other of the opposing ends of the first axle; providing a second truck comprising: a second axle having opposing ends, and opposing parallel third and fourth in-line wheeled frameworks, the third in-line wheeled framework secured to one of the opposing ends of the second axle and the fourth in-line wheeled framework secured to the other of the opposing ends of the second; pivoting the first axle to the base structure proximate the heel end; and pivoting the second axle to the base structure proximate the toe end; wherein the first in-line wheeled framework is in-line with the third in-line wheeled framework and the second in-line wheeled framework is in-line with the fourth in-line wheeled framework.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the first in-line wheeled framework comprises: a coupling secured to the one of the opposing ends of the first axle; and in-line wheels rotated to the coupling.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein the second inline wheeled framework comprises: a coupling secured to the other of the opposing ends of the first axle; and in-line wheels rotated to the coupling.

19. The method of claim 16, wherein the third in-line wheeled framework comprises: a coupling secured to the one of the opposing ends of the second axle; and in-line wheels rotated to the coupling.

20. The method of claim 1, wherein the fourth in-line wheeled framework comprises: a coupling secured to the other of the opposing ends of the second axle; and in-line wheels rotated to the coupling.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates to roller skates.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Roller-skating is a recreational and competitive sport in which the participants use special shoes fitted with small wheels to move about on rinks or paved surfaces. The invention of the roller skate occurred in the 1760s, but the first practical four-wheel skate was designed in 1863 by James Plimpton of Medford, Mass., U.S., and thereafter the first great recreational roller-skating craze swept the United States and western Europe, where many rinks were built.

[0003] By the late 20th century, the wooden or metal wheels traditionally used in skates had given way to lightweight polyurethane plastic wheels that grip the riding surface better. Another innovation was in-line skates, in which a single row of wheels is used in place of the standard four-wheeled rectangular configuration.

[0004] Although in-line skates are now very popular providing people with recreation and competitive sport, they are difficult to learn how to use. This is the result of the in-line configuration of the wheels, which does not provide lateral stability. Furthermore, although the standard four-wheeled rectangular wheel configuration provides the desirable lateral stability, it provides less linear rolling stability and speed over the riding surface than the in-line wheel configuration. Given these and other deficiencies in the art, the need for certain new and useful improvements in the art is evident.

[0005] Thus, there is a need for a roller skate having a wheeled configuration that provides not only lateral stability, but that is also capable of achieving high speeds over a riding surface while providing a high level of stability and efficient maneuverability.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The above problems and others are at least partially solved and the above purposes and others realized in an improved skate, in accordance with the principle of the invention, the skate including base structure attached to and underlying a durable foot covering having heel and toe ends. Preferably, the base structure is an elongate element extending from proximate the heel end to proximate the toe end. The skate has first and second wheeled trucks. The first truck includes a first axle pivoted to the base structure proximate the heel end and opposing parallel first and second in-line wheeled frameworks. The first axle has opposing ends. The first in-line wheeled framework is secured to one of the opposing ends of the first axle and the second in-line wheeled framework secured to the other of the opposing ends of the first axle. The second wheeled truck includes a second axle pivoted to the base structure proximate the toe end and opposing parallel third and fourth in-line wheeled frameworks. The second axle has opposing ends. The third in-line wheeled framework is secured to one of the opposing ends of the second axle and the fourth in-line wheeled framework is secured to the other of the opposing ends of the second axle. In a preferred embodiment, the first in-line wheeled framework is in-line with the third in-line wheeled framework and the second in-line wheeled framework is in-line with the fourth in-line wheeled framework. The first, second, third and fourth in-line wheeled frameworks are substantially identical to one another, in that each includes in-line wheels rotated to an attached coupling.

[0007] In another embodiment, a skate includes base structure attached to and underlying a durable foot covering having heel and toe ends. Preferably, the base structure is an elongate element extending from proximate the heel end to proximate the toe end. In this embodiment, a first wheeled truck is attached to the base structure proximate the heel end and a second wheeled truck is attached to the base structure proximate the toe end. One of the first and second wheeled trucks includes a first axle pivoted to the base structure and opposing parallel first and second in-line wheeled frameworks. The first axle has opposing ends. The first in-line wheeled framework is secured to one of the opposing ends of the first axle and the second in-line wheeled framework secured to the other of the opposing ends of the first axle. Preferably, the second wheeled truck includes a second axle pivoted to the base structure and opposing parallel third and fourth in-line wheeled frameworks. The second axle has opposing ends. The third in-line wheeled framework is secured to one of the opposing ends of the second axle and the fourth in-line wheeled framework is secured to the other of the opposing ends of the second axle. In a preferred embodiment, the first in-line wheeled framework is in-line with the third in-line wheeled framework and the second in-line wheeled framework is in-line with the fourth in-line wheeled framework. The first, second, third and fourth in-line wheeled frameworks are substantially identical to one another, each including in-line wheels rotated to an attached coupling.

[0008] Consistent with the foregoing, the invention also contemplates associated methods.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] Referring to the drawings:

[0010] FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a skate, in accordance with the principle of the invention, the skate including base structure attached to and underlying a durable foot covering having heel and toe ends, and wheeled trucks pivoted to the base structure;

[0011] FIG. 2 is a bottom plan of the skate of FIG. 1;

[0012] FIG. 3 is a fragmented partially exploded perspective view of one of the wheeled trucks of the skate of FIG. 1; and

[0013] FIG. 4 is a fragmented partially exploded perspective view of the skate of FIG. 1 illustrating structural features of one of the wheeled trucks.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0014] Turning now to the drawings, in which like reference characters indicate corresponding elements throughout the several views, attention is first directed to FIG. 1 in which is seen a skate, embodying the principle of the instant invention, generally indicated by the reference character 10 including base structure 11 attached to and underlying a durable foot covering 12 having heel and toe ends 13,14, and wheeled trucks 15,16 pivoted to base structure 11. Covering 12 is basically a shoe or boot, namely, protective footgear that is capable of receiving and securing a human foot. Covering 12 is generally representative of footgear commonly found in connection with roller skates and in-line skates. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, covering 12 includes an upper 17 having an attached sole 18. Upper 17 is laced, in that it is furnished with a lace 19 used to draw together opposing edges of upper 17. Lace 19 can be untied and loosened for allowing the opposing edges of upper 17 to be moved apart in order to permit a user to easily insert his foot therein, and then tightened and tied to draw together the opposing edges of upper 17 securing the foot disposed therein. Those of ordinary skill will readily appreciate that covering 12 can be substantially any durable foot covering that is capable of being employed in connection with a skate, as in the instant embodiment. In this regard, upper 17 can be constructed of leather or other natural and/or synthetic materials, and it may be reinforced with internal supports or an external plastic shell. For the purpose of orientation, sole 18 underlies upper 17 and constitutes the underside of covering 12 from heel end 13 to toe end 14. Sole 18 is made of durable leather, plastic, metal, wood, or other suitably durable material or combination of materials.

[0015] Base structure 11 is attached to and underlies covering 12. Further to FIG. 1, base structure 11 is attached to the underside of sole 18 preferably with screws, rivets, adhesive, etc. Base structure 11 can be integrally formed with sole 18 if desired and this is within the scope of the invention. Base structure 11 may be considered part of, or an extension of, sole 18. Base structure 11 is durable, strong and rigid, and is formed of material having such characteristics such as plastic, metal, wood, etc., and preferably polyurethane plastic for its lightness and strength. In this specific embodiment, base structure 11 is a single piece of material and extends from proximate heel end 13 to proximate toe end 14. Base structure 11 is integrally formed such as through molding techniques or machining stock material. Base structure 11 can also be constructed of or otherwise made up of a plurality of separate parts, whether connected, cooperating together to constitute base if not in structure then at least in function in accordance with the teachings of the invention. Base structure 11 facilitates the attachment of trucks 15,16 to covering 12 and also provides an underlying support for covering 12.

[0016] Looking to FIG. 2, truck 15 includes an axle 30 pivoted to base structure 11 proximate heel end 13 and opposing parallel in-line wheeled frameworks 31,32. Axle 30 has opposing ends 33,34. Framework 31 is secured to end 33 and framework 32 is secured to end 34. Truck 16 includes an axle 40 pivoted to base structure 11 proximate toe end 14 and opposing parallel in-line wheeled frameworks 41,42. Axle 40 has opposing ends 43,44. Framework 41 is secured to end 43 and framework 42 is secured to end 44. Preferably, framework 31 is in-line with framework 41, and framework 32 is in-line with framework 42. The general composition of trucks 15,16 and the configuration of wheeled frameworks 31,32,41,42 is readily depicted in FIG. 2. Accordingly, skate 10 is furnished with opposing parallel in-line sets of wheels, one set being the combination of frameworks 31,41, and the other set being the combination of frameworks 32,42.

[0017] The structure and attachment of the opposing parallel in-line wheeled frameworks of trucks 15,16 are identical, and the structure of only one of the in-line wheeled frameworks will be discussed, namely, framework 31. In this regard and considering truck 15, framework 31 includes in-line wheels 50,51 rotated to a coupling 52 attached to end 33 of axle 30. Coupling 52 is fashioned from aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber or other suitably strong and resilient material or combination of materials, and is integrally formed or an assembly of various parts. Preferably, in-line wheels 50,51 are each constructed of polyurethane plastic. Other materials can be used in the construction of wheels 50,51. Although two in-line wheels 50,51 are present in the instant embodiment, more can be employed, which is the case with each of the in-line wheeled frameworks of both trucks 15,16. Regarding FIG. 4, coupling 52 is an elongate bifurcate element, as characterized by opposing generally parallel extremities 53,54 defining a space 55 therebetween. End 33, which is threaded, extends through opposing central openings 47,48 of extremities 54,53, respectively, and is secured with a threaded nut 56. End 33 can be secured to coupling 52 in other ways, such as by welding, a riveted attachment, etc. Preferably, coupling 52 is detachably engaged to axle 30, permitting easy removal thereof for maintenance, repair and replacement. Coupling 52 is attached to axle 30 between nut 56 and an inwardly disposed abutment 59 of axle 30. Preferably, a washer 57 is disposed between nut 56 and extremity 53 and a circular spacer 58 encircles axle 30 at space 55 between extremities 53,54, preventing extremities 53,54 from collapsing inwardly toward one another. This attachment of coupling 52 to axle 30 permits coupling 52 to pivot about axle 30. Wheels 50,51 are rotated at either end of coupling on either side of axle 30 and are disposed at space 55. Considering the attachment of wheel 50, an internally threaded end 60A of a headed axle 60 extends through opposing openings 61,62 through extremities 54,53, respectively, at one end of coupling 52, and is secured with a screw 63. End 60A can be secured to coupling 52 in other ways, such as by welding, a riveted attachment, etc. Preferably, wheel 50 is detachably engaged to coupling 52, permitting easy removal thereof for maintenance, repair and replacement. That portion of axle 60 between extremities 53,54 is disposed through a hub 50A of wheel 50 and wheel 50 is capable of rotating about axle 60. The attachment of wheel 51 to the other end of coupling 52 is identical to the attachment of wheel 50 and will not be discussed. FIG. 3 illustrates framework 31 as it would appear assembled and detached from axle 30. Those having regard for the art will readily appreciate that wheels 50,51 can be rotated to coupling 52 in other ways. Also, although coupling 52 is a preferred structure for facilitating the inline attachment of wheels 50,51, those having regard for the art will readily appreciate that coupling 52 can take on other structural forms such as a single, non-bifurcated element, and wheels 50,51 may be secured for rotation in an inline condition in other ways, consistent with the teachings of the invention.

[0018] Axles 30,40 are carried by fixtures 70,80, respectively, which are pivoted to base structure 11. Fixture 70 is pivoted proximate heel end 13 and fixture 80 is pivoted proximate toe end 14. The structure and attachment of fixtures 70,80 are identical, and the details of only one will be discussed, namely, fixture 70. Considering truck 15 and FIG. 4, fixture 70 is a body having opposing ends 71,72. End 71 carries a ball 73, which is disposed in a socket 74 of base structure 11, and the positioning of ball 73 and socket 74 is reversible. Ball 73 is fitted within and held by socket 74, and yet is capable of rotating and pivoting within socket 74 as with a conventional ball and socket attachment. End 72 is pivoted to base structure 11 and can be attached in much the same way as end 71. However, in this embodiment, a headed connecting element 76 extends through end 72 and secures base structure 11, such as threadably or by other suitable connecting means. End 72 is capable of pivoting and moving relative to element 76. Element 76 is rigidly attached. A resilient bumper 77 encircles a portion of element 76 between end 72 and base structure 11 and is captured between end 72 and base structure 11. Bumper 77 is made of durable rubber or other elastomer or spring, permitting end 72 to pivot and providing shock absorption. Axle 30 is attached to fixture 70 and extends outwardly from either side thereof. Axle 30 is considered part of fixture 70. Axle and fixture can be an assembly of various parts or a single piece. With the exception of element 76, fixture 70 and axle 30 can be integrally formed, such as by casting or machining from aluminum, steel, carbon fiber or other suitably strong, resilient and substantially rigid material or combination of materials.

[0019] The opposing parallel sets of in-line wheels, one set being the wheels frameworks 31,41 and the other being the wheels of frameworks 32,42, provide lateral stability for skate 10 and permit skate to advance smoothly over a riding surface while providing exemplary stability at high speeds. By shifting weight to the left and to the right, the pivoting capability of trucks 15,16 permits a user to turn to the left and to the right, while allowing the wheels of trucks 15,16 to remain in contact with the riding surface.

[0020] The present invention is described above with reference to a preferred embodiment. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that changes and modifications may be made to the described embodiment without departing from the nature and scope of the invention. For instance, the wheels of a conventional roller skate of the type having opposing front and rear axles with four wheels attached thereto in a rectangular orientation, can be detached and replaced with the inline wheeled frameworks of the invention, essentially converting a conventional four wheeled roller skate into a roller skate having opposing parallel inline wheels, in accordance with the invention. Various other changes and modifications to the embodiment herein chosen for purposes of illustration will readily occur to those skilled in the art. To the extent that such modifications and variations do not depart from the spirit of the invention, they are intended to be included within the scope thereof, as assessed by a reasonable and fair interpretation of the ensuing claims.





 
Previous Patent: Roller shoe

Next Patent: Snow glider ski scooter