Title:
Dual braking system for 2-wheeled inline skates
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A two-wheel high-speed glider inline roller skate having a boot with toe and heel pads to which a downward opening channel-shaped wheel support is attached centrally along the length of the boot. The channel structure has a front portion with sidewalls extending downward and forward of the boot toe to receive a front wheel between the sidewalls, the wheel mounted on an axle mounted to the channel structure by bearings. The channel structure has a rear portion that receives a rear wheel between its sides, the wheel being rotated on a rear axle and mounted to the channel structure by bearings. The rear wheel is located below the rear portion of the heel mounting plate. The rear portion has a hand brake system secured above the rear axle for acting on the rear wheel at its rear periphery.



Inventors:
Smyler, Robert (Battle Creek, MI, US)
Crenshaw, Bob (Battle Creek, MI, US)
Application Number:
10/787917
Publication Date:
10/21/2004
Filing Date:
02/27/2004
Assignee:
SMYLER ROBERT
CRENSHAW BOB
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C17/06; A63C17/14; (IPC1-7): A63C17/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VANAMAN, FRANK BENNETT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A pair of two-wheeled inline gliding skates, each skate comprising: a boot having a sole with a toe and a heel thereon; a toe pad mounted on said sole at said toe; a heel pad mounted on said heel; a channel-shaped frame extending centrally, lengthwise of said boot sole and having an upper wall and opposed sidewalls, said frame having a heel pad attachment plate and a toe pad attachment plate located on said frame upper wall attached to said toe pad and said heel pad, respectively; said opposing walls of said frame forming a toe portion extending forward and downward from said toe pad; said opposing walls of said frame forming a heel portion extending rearward and downward from said heel pad; a front wheel and a rear wheel; a front axle supporting said front wheel for rotation; said front axle being supported by said toe portion of said frame between said opposing sidewalls; said front axle of said front wheel being spaced substantially downward from and forward of the toe of said boot; a rear axle supporting said rear wheel for rotation; said rear axle being supported by said heel portion of said frame between said opposing sidewalls; and said rear axle of said rear wheel being spaced substantially downward from and directly below the rear of said heel of said boot.

2. The inline skates of claim 1, further comprising an upper toe piece mounted between said sidewalls of said toe portion and extending upwards from a point proximate the periphery of said front wheel to the front intersection of said toe pad and said toe portion of said boot sole.

3. The inline skates of claim 1, said channel-shaped frame having a centrally located, inverted arch stiffener mounted to and extending between said channel sidewalls, said stiffener being attached at each end thereof to said upper wall of said channel frame.

4. The inline skates of claim 1, further comprising a brake system mounted on said frame heel portion of each skate.

5. The inline skates of claim 4, wherein said brake system comprises: a hand grip brake control assembly; a heel-mounted brake assembly; and an actuator cable and sheath extending from said hand grip brake control assembly to said heel-mounted brake assembly for actuation of said brake pad; whereby, said actuator cable causes said brake assembly to bear against said rear wheel, thereby causing braking action for said skate.

6. The inline skates of claim 5, said heel mounted brake assembly comprising; removable, horizontally disposed connecting frames having respective front mounting ends and rear brake support ends; a brake pad for engaging said rear wheel; an inverted “V”-shaped upper brake frame brace extending upward and rearward at a first angle from and bridging said respective connecting frame rear brake support ends and having an upper “V” portion; an inverted “U”-shaped lower brake frame brace extending upward and rearward at a second angle from and bridging said respective connecting frame rear brake support ends and having an upper cross portion; said first angle being greater relative to said connecting frames than said second angle as measured from the rear horizontal; said upper brake frame brace having a length greater than said lower frame brace such that said upper “V” portion of said upper brace is located above said upper cross portion of said lower frame brace and spaced therefrom; a rotatable pivot bar having a pivot journal at each end thereof, said pivot bar being mounted above and parallel to said cross portion of said lower frame brace by said pivot journals; an elongated brake pivot plate having an upper portion, a central portion, and an upper portion, said central portion being perpendicularly mounted on said pivot bar; said upper portion of said brake pivot plate having an upper end and defining a throughbore proximate its upper end for receiving and engaging said actuator cable; and said lower portion of said brake pivot plate having a lower end and defining a throughbore proximate its lower end for mounting said brake pad thereto so as to face forward; whereby, upon operation of said hand lever of said hand grip brake control, said upper portion of said brake pivot plate is pulled back causing said lower portion of said brake pivot plate to pivot forward, forcing said brake pad against the rear periphery of said rear wheel, thereby controlling the rotation of said rear wheel to control the speed or stop said inline skate.

7. The inline skates of claim 5, wherein said heel-mounted brake assembly comprises: a curved brake plate having a first end pivotally secured to the channel shaped frame and a second end that is movable from a braking position against said rear wheel and a released position away from said rear wheel; and a fastener secured to the second end of said curved brake plate for securing the actuator cable and sheath to curved brake plate; whereby the actuator cable and sheath pull the second end of said curved brake plate into frictional engagement with said rear wheel to cause said rear wheel to stop rotating.

8. The inline skates of claim 5, wherein said hand grip brake control assembly further comprises a hand grip and a hand lever connected by a brake control body, said hand lever being rotatable relative to said hand grip, said brake control body being secured to the actuator cable and sheath of each skate, whereby, upon squeezing said hand lever toward said hand grip, said actuator cable causes said inline skate to brake.

9. The inline skates of claim 5, wherein said hand grip brake control assembly comprises: a single hand break for controlling the brake system of the pair of skates having a hand grip and a hand lever connected by a brake control body, said hand lever being rotatable relative to said hand grip; and an actuator cable splicer having a framework for supporting a slicing plate, said splicing plate having a pair of receivers for receiving the actuator cables and sheaths of each of said inline skates, and a spliced actuator cable extending from the framework and engaging said single hand break.

10. The inline skates of claim 9, further comprising a mounting clamp secured to the splicer framework for securing the actuator cable splicer to a belt worn by a user of the inline skates.

11. The inline skates of claim 5, wherein said hand grip control assembly comprises a single hand break for controlling the brake system of the pair of skates having a hand grip and a hand lever connected by a brake control body, said hand lever being rotatable relative to said hand grip, and a receiving member for receiving the actuator cable and sheath from each of said inline skates.

12. The inline skates of claim 5, further comprising a biasing spring for biasing the heel mounted brake assembly in and out of engagement with said rear wheel.

13. The inline skates of claim 12, wherein said biasing spring is an internal flat spring disposed inside of said channel shaped frame.

14. The inline skates of claim 12, wherein said biasing spring is an external coil spring secured to said heel mounted brake assembly.

15. The inline skates of claim 5, further comprising a pulley system disposed along said channel-shaped frame for controlling the movement of said actuator cable and sheath.

16. The inline skates of claim 5, wherein said actuator cable and sheath are secured to the exterior surface of each of said boots by a plurality of fasteners.

17. The inline skates of claim 5, wherein said actuator cable and sheath are disposed along the interior of each of said boots by passing through a cable hole that extends through a bottom surface of each of said boots.

18. The inline skates of claim 8, further comprising a hand break locking lever for releasably maintaining the hand lever in a squeezed position.

19. The inline skates of claim 5, further comprising a plurality of leg straps for securing the actuator cables and sheaths to the legs of a user of the skates.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 10/611,820 filed Jul. 2, 2003.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to inline roller skates. More particularly, the present invention relates to high-performance two-wheeled inline skates having a hand-operated braking system operating on a rear wheel, thereof.

[0004] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0005] The use of inline skates has become widespread. There are drawbacks to the standard four-wheel inline skates due to limited size of wheels and friction when attempting to obtain high-speed performance. Known two-wheel inline skates have the rear wheel extending substantially back of the user's heel, limiting maneuverability. Also, the standard type of rubber stop brakes, which require the tilting of a skate forward or backward for braking against the surface where skating is inadequate since the brake on only one skate can practically be used at one time, and constant brake pressure is difficult to apply. When braking from high speed, braking on both skates is desirable, both to gain braking power available from both skates and to avoid torque developed by braking with only one skate which tends to twist the skater around. Braking on both skates with similar controlled braking pressure would be highly desired when applying to two-wheeled skates.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 2,868,554, issued Jan. 13, 1959, to Ring describes a two-wheel inline roller skate having relatively small wheels, the rear wheel extending substantially to the rear of the user's heel. No brakes are provided in the '554 patent to aid in stopping.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 5,200,409, issued May 18, 1993 describes an inline skate system operated by a Bowden cable and hand lever which presses a brake shoe against the skating surface, thus avoiding tilting the skate back to apply braking pressure.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 4,943,075, issued Jul. 24, 1990, to Gates, describes a combination skate-ski assembly which provides relatively large wheels mounted substantially forward and to the rear of the user's toe and heel, respectively, and provides for Bowden type cables operated by hand levers and operating on bicycle-type brake actuators. The '075 assembly would necessarily be wide and therefore clumsy to maneuver, particularly at high speeds.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 5,584,491, issued Dec. 17, 1996, to Chronic, Jr. describes an inline roller skate having a remote brake which includes a brake assembly that engages and frictionally engages and retards a rear wheel of the skate and a Bowden cable assembly that extends from the brake assembly and terminates in a hand-held actuating lever assembly.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 5,335,924, issued Aug. 9, 1994, describes a retractable brake pad mechanism for inline skates. One embodiment includes a handle assembly for activating the brake, the pad of which engages the skating surface.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 4,300,781, issued Nov. 17, 1981, describes a roller skate braking system with a hand brake, cable and brake pad.

[0012] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0013] The present invention is a two-wheeled high speed glider inline roller skate. Each skate has a boot having a toe and a heel portion to which a downward opening channel-shaped wheel support is attached centrally along the length of the boot. The channel has front toe and rear heel mounting plates corresponding to mounting pads riveted to the sole of the boot at its toe and heel, respectively. The channel-shaped wheel support slopes downward from toe to heel and a rear portion thereof then extends downward at a slightly rearward angle. The rear portion receives a rear wheel between its sidewalls, the wheel being rotated on a rear axle and mounted to the channel structure by bearings. The rear axle is preferably located directly below the rear of the plate, positioning the rear wheel substantially directly below the boot heel.

[0014] A brake system is secured to the channel-shaped wheel support. The brake system provides a brake pad or plate that is pivotally mounted to the rear portion of the channel structure. The brake pad or plate that extends along the rear wheel is movable from a braking position, where the brake pad or plate is in frictional contact with the rear wheel, and a released position. The brake system further includes an actuator cable that is secured at one end to the break pad or plate and secured at the other end to a hand brake assembly. The hand brake assembly includes a brake lever that, when squeezed, causes the actuator cable to forcibly pull the brake pad or plate into frictional contact with the rear wheel causing the inline skate to stop.

[0015] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a high-performance inline roller skate.

[0016] It is another object of the invention to provide a roller skate as above which safely obtains high speeds and is maneuverable.

[0017] It is a further object of the invention to provide a roller skate as above which operates with minimum friction.

[0018] Still another object of the invention is to provide an embodiment of the roller skate as above which has only two inline wheels.

[0019] Yet another object of the invention is to provide a roller skate as above which has an attachment for installation of a brake.

[0020] Still another object of the invention is to provide a roller skate as above having a hand-operated brake system.

[0021] Yet another object of the invention is to provide a roller skate as above wherein the hand-operated brake system includes a brake shoe which may be applied to the rear periphery of the rear wheel to slow or stop the roller skate.

[0022] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in an apparatus for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

[0023] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0024] FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a two-wheel inline glider skate according to the present invention.

[0025] FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view of the skate of FIG. 1.

[0026] FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of the skate of FIG. 1 with a handbrake installed.

[0027] FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the handbrake of FIG. 3.

[0028] FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of a specially designed four-wheel inline skate with the handbrake of FIG. 3.

[0029] FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of a two-wheeled inline glider skate according to a second embodiment of the present invention.

[0030] FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of an actuator cable splicer according to the present invention.

[0031] FIG. 8 is an environmental perspective view of the two-wheeled inline glider skates according to the second embodiment.

[0032] FIG. 9 is a side elevation view of a two-wheeled inline glider skate according to an additional embodiment of the present invention.

[0033] FIGS. 10A and 10B are side perspective views of hand brakes according to an additional embodiment of the present invention.

[0034] FIG. 11 is a side perspective view of a single brake according to an additional embodiment of the present invention.

[0035] FIG. 12 is side elevation view of two-wheeled inline glider skate according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0036] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0037] The present invention is a two-wheel high speed glider inline roller skate having a channel-like support for a front wheel located downward and forward of the skate toe and a rear wheel located directly below the skate heel. A hand-operated brake is attached to the rear of the skate support having a brake shoe operating against the rear periphery of the rear wheel. According to one embodiment of the present invention, the brake is operated by a hand lever that forces the brake shoe against the wheel. A spring returns the brake to the open position once pressure is relieved on the hand lever.

[0038] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2 there are shown a side elevation view and a bottom plan view of the two-wheel inline glider skate of the present invention. Two-wheel inline glider skate 10 includes a boot 12 of common construction having a sole having a boot heel pad 14 riveted to the heel portion of the sole and a toe pad 22 riveted to a toe portion 16 extending over toe pad 22. Skate 10 has a generally channel-shaped, downward opening frame 18 having sides 36 and an upper wall 33 attached centrally along the length of boot 12 by means of frame heel attachment plate 20 at boot heel pad 14 and frame toe attachment plate 23 at boot toe pad 22 the attachments being made by nuts and bolts 40 and 38, respectively. The channel structure has a front portion 24 with sidewalls 36 and extending downward and forward of the boot toe to receive front mounted wheel 28 between sidewalls 36 rotating on an axle 30. To reduce friction, the wheel 28 may be mounted on bearings of common construction (not shown) around axle 30.

[0039] An upper toe piece 25 extends between the sides 36 of toe portion 24 along the top thereof, extending up from a point near the periphery of wheel 28 to the front intersection of the toe pad 22 and the toe portion of sole 16, acting as a stiffener and providing added toe control to the frame toe portion 24 and wheel 28. The channel-shaped frame 18 has a centrally located inverted arch stiffener 34 mounted to and extending between the channel sidewalls 36 and attached at each end to upper wall 33 of channel frame 18.

[0040] The sidewalls 36 of channel-shaped frame 18 angle downward from toe to heel and a rear portion 26 thereof extends downward at a slightly rearward angle from vertical at a point from about the center of boot heel mounting attachment plate 20 about 1½ inches from the extreme end of the heel. The rear frame heel portion 26 receives the rear mounted wheel 28 between its sidewalls 36 the wheel 28 being mounted for rotation on rear axle 30 by means of bearings(not shown). The rear axle is preferably spaced directly below the rear end of attachment plate 20 such that the rear wheel is directly below the heel of the boot. The channel-shaped wheel support has aligned threaded bores 27 through opposite sides of its rear portion, spaced above the rear axle 30 for attachment of a heel brake assembly 42 (see FIGS. 3 and 4) acting on the rear periphery of the rear mounted wheel 28.

[0041] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, there are shown a side elevation view of the inventive two-wheel inline glider skate with a brake system attached, and an exploded view of the brake system. The brake system, according to the present embodiment, includes heel brake assembly 42 and hand grip brake control assembly 44 connected by a Bowden type brake activating cable and sheath 58. Hand grip brake control assembly 44 resembles a hand grip and brake lever assembly of a bicycle handlebar and includes grip handle 46 having handle clip 47 attached thereto for clipping the assembly 44 to a skater's waist belt. Hand held brake control body 48 is connected at one end of grip handle 46 and is tightened around a common central tube(not shown) by body tightening bolt 50. Hand lever 52 is connected with body 48 by pivot connection 53 so as to allow hand lever 52 to be squeezed inward toward handle 46 when applying the brake. The activating cable grip end of cable and sheath 58 is attached to the hand lever 52 near its connection with body 48 at hand lever connection 54 and enters the sheath at hand held brake body cable sheath connector and stop 56.

[0042] The cable and sheath 58 extends to a lower end where sheath protector 60 encases the lower portion of sheath 58 for protection. A sheath ferrule 62 is located at the lower end of the sheath 58. A sheath connector ferrule receptor 64 receives the lower end of ferrule 62 where it is connected with sheath connector actuator cable guide 66 through which the lower portion of actuator cable 68 may travel. The actuator cable has an adjustment fastener 70 attached near its lower end to adjust its length relative to the heel mounted brake assembly 42.

[0043] The heel mounted brake assembly 42 includes opposing brake connecting frames 72 attached at their front mounting end by mounting screws 74 which attach at brake frame attachment threaded bores 27 (see FIG. 1) in frame 18. The brake connecting frames 72 extend horizontally rearward to a brake support end where upper brake frame brace 76 and lower brake frame brace 78 are attached therebetween as by welding, thus bridging the gap between brake connecting frames 72. Upper brake frame brace 76 is substantially inverted “V”-shaped and extends upward from the support ends of the brake supports, extending upward rearwardly at about a 45-degree angle, its open ends being attached to the brake supports. A lower brake frame brace 78 is inverted flattened “U”-shaped and extends upward rearwardly from the support end of brake supports 72 at about a 30-degree angle, its open ends being attached to the brake supports.

[0044] The lower brake frame brace 78 is attached to the brake supports 72 below the upper brake frame brace 76 and extends about one-half the length of the upper frame brace 76 such that its cross portion is substantially directly below the “V” portion of the upper brake frame brace 76. The cross portion of the lower frame brace 78 supports a rotating pivot bar 94 by means of pivot bar journals 96 located at either end of the cross portion of lower frame brace 78 and extend upwardly and rearwardly therefrom so that pivot bar 94 is spaced from the lower frame brace cross portion. An elongated brake pivot plate 81 includes a rearwardly curved lower portion 82, a planar central portion 84 and an upwardly curved upper portion 85 interconnected as by welding and is perpendicularly mounted at its central portion 84 to pivot bar 94 as by welding so as to freely pivot back and forth therewith.

[0045] The lower end of lower curved portion 82 of the pivot plate 81 contains a bore 83 near its extreme end for mounting a brake pad 86 thereto by means of brake pad stud 88 extending rearwardly from brake pad 86. Brake pad stud 88 is inserted through bore 83 and secured by a stud nut 90. Brake pad 86 is generally block-shaped, having a braking surface opposite the mounting surface of brake pad stud 88 and having upper and lower surfaces tapering inward from the braking surface to the mounting surface.

[0046] The upper end portion 85 of the pivot plate 81 has a throughbore 92 near its extreme end for receiving the lower end of cable 68, the adjustment fastener 70 being secured to cable 68 so as to maintain the end of cable 68 forward of pivot plate 81 and being adjustable along the lower end of cable 68. The upper portion of upper brake frame brace 76 including the apex of the “V” portion is preferably bent forward at an angle past the vertical. Cable sheath connector and stop 80 is attached to the upper “V” end of upper brake frame brace 76 as by welding and extends upward and forward in line with the bent portion thereof. Cable sheath connector and stop 80 is in the general shape of a machine nut and engages ferrule 62, connector ferrule receptor 64 and receives the lower end of sheath 58, thus acting as a receiver and stop for the lower end of sheath 58, allowing cable 68 to move inward and outward relative thereto. A return spring 98 has an upper hook end 100 and a lower hook end 102. The upper hook end 100 is attached between cable sheath connector and stop 80 and sheath connector ferrule receptor 64. The lower hook end 102 is attached around stud 88 and held between brake pad 86 and nut 90, or, alternatively, is welded to the exposed end of stud 88.

[0047] Referring to FIG. 5, there is shown a four-wheel version of the inventive inline skate with the heel mounted brake assembly of FIGS. 3 and 4 attached to a four-wheel generally channel-shaped support frame 118 having a toe portion 124 and a heel portion 126 bearing front and rear wheels 28. Frame 118 includes intermediate wheel supports 128 bearing intermediate wheels 28.

[0048] In operation, a skater carries the hand brake assembly on a waist belt using handle clip 47. When the skater wishes to reduce speed or stop, he grasps hand brake assembly 44 and squeezes lever 52 toward handle 46. This action pulls actuator cable 68 through sheath 58 which pulls actuator cable adjustment fastener 70 against the upper pivot plate portion 85. This causes pivot plate 81 to pivot on pivot bar 96, thus causing lower pivot plate portion 82 to rotate forward, applying brake pad 86 against the rear periphery of the turning rear wheel 28 while expanding return spring 98. The degree of braking is determined by the squeezing force applied to lever 52. Upon easing or release of squeezing force applied to lever 52 by the skater, return spring 98 reduces braking friction of brake pad 86 against the rear wheel 28 or pulls brake pad 86 away from wheel 12 to a free-skating position.

[0049] FIG. 6 depicts an inline two-wheeled glider skate 200 according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention. The glider skate 200, comprises a boot 212 of common construction having a sole having a boot heel pad 214 riveted to the heel portion of the sole and a toe pad 222 riveted to a toe portion 216 extending over toe pad 222. The skate 200 has a generally channel-shaped, downward opening frame 218 having sides and an upper wall attached centrally along the length of boot 212 by means of frame heel attachment plate 220 at boot heel pad 214 and frame toe attachment plate 223 at boot toe pad 222, the attachments being made by a plurality of nuts and bolts. The channel structure has a front portion 224 with sidewalls extending downward and forward of the boot toe to receive a front mounted wheel 228 between the sidewalls, with the front wheel 228 rotating on an axle 230.

[0050] The sidewalls of channel-shaped frame 218 angle downward from the toe to the heel and a rear portion 226 thereof extends downward at a slightly rearward angle from vertical at a point from about the center of the boot heel mounting attachment plate 220 about 1½ inches from the extreme end of the heel. The rear frame heel portion 226 receives the rear mounted wheel 228 between its sidewalls with the wheel 228 being mounted for rotation on the rear axle 230 by means of bearings(not shown).

[0051] The inline skate 200 according to the present embodiment further comprises a brake assembly. The brake assembly is secured to the rear portion 226 of the channel-shaped framework 218. The brake assembly includes a curved brake plate 231 secured at a first end to the channel-shaped frame 218 by a fastener 234. The brake plate 231 comprises a shape that conforms to the shape of the rear wheel 228. The brake plate 231 is preferably made from metal but may be made from any suitably durable material that will provide enough friction to stop a rotating wheel 228.

[0052] The brake assembly further comprises an actuator cable 252. The actuator cable 252 is connected at a first end to the brake plate 231 by a fastener 232 and at a second end to a brake control assembly 244 (shown in FIG. 8). The actuator cable 252 pulls on the brake plate 231 to force the brake plate 231 into frictional engagement with the rear wheel 228.

[0053] According to another preferred embodiment of the present invention, the inline skates 200 may include a single hand brake control assembly 244 for controlling the brake assemblies of both inline skates 200. FIG. 7 depicts an actuator cable splicer 260 according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention. The splicer 260 comprises a support frame 266 and a splicing bar 274 disposed across the interior of the support frame 266. The splicing bar 274 provides connectors 272, 272a for receiving the actuator cables 252, 252a from the two inline skates 200. A single spliced actuator cable 253 extends through the top of the support frame 266 where the spliced actuator cable 253 is secured by a fastener 268. The single spliced actuator cable 253 is secured to a hand brake control assembly 244 (shown in FIG. 8).

[0054] FIG. 8 depicts the actuator cable splicer 260 secured to the belt of a person P using the inline skates 200. The splicer 260 is connected to the belt of the person P by a mounting bracket 262, having a mounting hook 264 disposed thereon, secured to the support framework 266 of the splicer 260.

[0055] The hand brake control assembly 244 comprises a gripping portion 246 and a control lever 251. When the person P applies a gripping pressure to the control lever 251 the single spliced actuator cable 253 applies pressure onto the splicing bar 274, which then transfers pressure evenly to the two actuator cables 252, 252a. The two actuator cables 252, 252a then force the brake plates 231 on their respective inline skates 200 into frictional engagement with the rear wheels 228.

[0056] The inline skates 200 further comprise a biasing spring member connected to the brake assembly. The biasing spring member biases the brake plate 231 out of engagement with the rear wheel 228. According to certain preferred embodiments of the present invention, the biasing spring member is an external coil spring 298 (shown in FIG. 6) secured at one end to the exterior of the brake plate 231 and at the opposite end to rear portion of the boot 212. According to an alternate embodiment of the present invention; the spring biasing member comprises an interior flat spring 300 (shown in FIG. 9) having a mounting end 302 secured inside of the channel-shaped frame 218 and a biasing end 304 in contact with the interior surface of the brake plate 231. The flat spring 304 pushed upward against the brake plate 231 to bias the brake plate 304 out of engagement with the rear wheel 228.

[0057] FIG. 11 depicts a dual hand brake control 444 according to a preferred embodiment 400 of the present invention. The dual hand brake control 444 comprises a hand grip portion 446 and a lever 451 pivotally secured to the hand grip portion 446. The dual hand brake allows for two separate actuator cables 452, 452a to be secured to the same hand brake control 444. The present hand brake control 444 provides for a more even distribution of breaking pressure to the two inline skates 200 then with the cable splicer 260 described above.

[0058] According to another aspect of the present invention, the brake control assembly 244 further comprises a brake lock 280. FIGS. 10A and 10B depict the brake lock 280 in a locked position and an unlocked position, respectively. The brake lock 280 comprises a generally U-shaped locking clamp that is pivotally connected to the hand grip portion 246 of the brake control assembly 244 by a fastener 282. To lock the control lever 251 in place the user of the inline skates 200 depresses the control lever 251 and then pivots the brake lock 280 until it slides over the control lever 251. The brake lock 280 then holds the control lever 251 in the locked position allowing the user of the inline skates 200 to keep his hand free. To release the control lever 251, the user must pivot the brake lock 280 until it slides off of the control lever 251, which allows the control lever 280 to move back to its original, released position.

[0059] According to another aspect of the present invention, the inline skates 200 further comprise a plurality of leg straps for fastening the actuator cable 252 to the leg of the user while riding to prevent the actuator cables 252 from tangling or interfering with the user. The leg straps are preferably Velcro straps, but any suitable releasable fastener may be used.

[0060] In the preferred embodiments described above, the actuator cable 58, 252 extends along the exterior of the boot 12, 212. According to certain preferred embodiments of the present inline skate 500 (shown in FIG. 12) the actuator cable 508 extends through the interior of the boot 504. A hole 506 is disposed through the bottom surface of the boot 504 for receiving the actuator cable 508. The actuator cable 508 extends through the interior of the boot 504 and exits the top opening 502 of the boot 504.

[0061] According to another aspect of the present embodiment, the inline skate 500 further comprises a cable pulley 520 disposed along rear portion of the channel-shaped framework 510. The cable pulley 520 controls the movement and location of the unsheathed actuator cable 508a, which is secured to the brake plate 516 by a fastener 518. The cable pulley 520 keeps the unsheathed actuator cable 508a straight and prevents it from bending or tangling, which would adversely affect the braking system. The cable pulley 520 further prevents the brake system from locking up by preventing the unsheathed cable 508a from being bent and also prevents the unsheathed cable 508a from breaking.

[0062] The wheels 28 are preferably plastic and are available in a range of sizes. The preferred wheels are about 90 millimeters in diameters and the sized used may vary from about 80 millimeters in diameter to about 90 millimeters in diameter. It has been demonstrated that a 90-millimeter wheel provides the best overall performance in speed and control.

[0063] In the two-wheel version it is desirable to position the rear wheel vertically below the heel of the boot while the front wheel is extended forward of the toe. This configuration reduces weight on the front wheel which enhances overall speed and control of the skate and increases weight on the rear wheel allowing more effective push-off for faster takeoffs and acceleration while increasing maneuverability. This configuration also allows the brake system to be more compactly attached. The configuration of the brake pivot plate results in a more compact brake assembly.

[0064] The boot is preferably plastic while the frame and attachment plates are made of metal. The brake assemblies are made of plastic, rubber, and steel as appropriate.

[0065] It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.