Title:
Chassis for an in-line skate or an ice skate, and a skate including such a chassis
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The chassis for a skate for in-line wheels or for ice comprises two preformed main parts suitable for being assembled together by a fastener screw: a) a first part having, in its bottom portion, the body of the chassis for mounting the wheels or the blade, and, in its top portion, the heel cup; and b) a second part constituting at least the toe cup. The two parts include: longitudinal sliding means suitable for co-operating by the second part sliding relative to the first part from an insertion, front position to an assembled, rear position; and fastener means in which the fastener screw, having a longitudinal direction and accessible from the front face of the second part, serves to lock the two parts together in the assembled position.



Inventors:
Alglave, Richard (St. Pierre en Faucigny, FR)
Application Number:
10/952436
Publication Date:
03/31/2005
Filing Date:
09/29/2004
Assignee:
ALGLAVE RICHARD
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C1/26; A63C1/42; A63C17/06; (IPC1-7): A63C17/02
View Patent Images:
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20020084600Shoes with ball wheelsJuly, 2002Filmore Jr.



Primary Examiner:
COLLADO, CYNTHIA FRANCISCA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MILLEN, WHITE, ZELANO & BRANIGAN, P.C. (ARLINGTON, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A chassis for a skate for in-line wheels or for ice, the chassis comprising two main preformed parts suitable for being assembled together by a fastener screw, namely: a) a first part having, in its bottom portion, the body of the chassis for mounting the wheels or the blade, and, in its top portion, the heel cup; and b) a second part constituting at least the toe cup; wherein the two parts include: longitudinal sliding means suitable for co-operating by the second part sliding relative to the first part from an insertion, front position to an assembled, rear position; and fastener means in which the fastener screw, having a longitudinal direction and accessible from the front face of the second part, serves to lock the two parts together in the assembled position.

2. A chassis according to claim 1, wherein the longitudinal sliding means comprise at least a slideway-forming longitudinal groove formed in one of the two parts and a longitudinal shoulder formed in the other part and suitable for sliding as a snug fit in said groove.

3. A chassis according to claim 2, wherein the first part includes a front portion for being situated, after assembly, under the toe cup, said front portion having two outwardly-facing side faces in which two longitudinal grooves are formed, and that the second part includes two bottom fins having two inwardly-facing sides on which there are formed two longitudinal shoulders suitable for sliding in the longitudinal grooves of the first part.

4. A chassis according to claim 2, wherein the top and bottom edges of each shoulder and of each groove form between each other and in longitudinal section, a small angle of a few degrees.

5. A chassis according to claim 1, wherein, in addition to the fastener screw, the fastening means include a tapped locking insert, and the first part includes a cavity suitable for serving as a fitted housing for the tapped insert and for passing the fastener screw, and the first and second parts include, in their front faces, through holes which, after assembly, open out into said cavity and enable the fastener screw to pass through and be fastened in the tapped insert.

6. A chassis according to claim 3, wherein the cavity of the insert is formed in the top face of the front portion of the first part.

7. A skate fitted with a chassis according to claim 1, in which the second part has a toe cup of small size, and in which the skate includes a boot whose toe is secured by adhesive to all or part of the inside surface of the toe cup.

8. A skate according to claim 7, wherein the boot possesses a rigid sole and an upper whose side flanks are folded under the sole and secured to the bottom face of the sole so as to form two side beads defining a visible zone of the sole in which at least one ventilation hole is provided, and the boot is fixed to the toe cup via its sole solely via the two side beads, and the second part of the chassis and the boot have respective front openings opening out into the available space between the visible zone of the sole and the toe cup.

9. A skate according to claim 8, wherein the top face of the first part is provided with at least one ventilation hole which, when the chassis is in the assembled position, is in register with the ventilation hole of the rigid sole.

10. A skate fitted with a chassis according to claim 1, and with a flexible boot, wherein the second part of the chassis has a toe cup which is provided with rearwardly-extending side extensions that, in the assembled position of the chassis, come to be fitted to the toe cup of the first part, said side extensions defining between them a space into which the flexible boot is inserted, and being themselves fitted with closure means.

11. A skate according to claim 10, wherein the side extensions of the second part are secured to the heel cup of the first part.

Description:

The present invention relates to a chassis for a skate having wheels in-line—commonly referred to as a roller—made of a rigid material and comprising, in its bottom portion, the body proper of the chassis arranged for mounting the wheels, and, in its top portion, firstly a rear portion referred to as a heel cup, and secondly a front portion referred to as a toe cup, the two cups serving to receive and hold in position a boot on the foot of the user. By extension, the invention applies equally to a chassis for an ice skate, of similar structure.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is possible to envisage making such a chassis as a single piece by injection molding. However that would require molds that are very complex and would limit the configurations possible for the heel and toe cups.

To avoid those drawbacks, the simplest solution consists in making such a chassis by using screws or rivets to assemble together two pre-shaped parts, in particular parts that have been thermoformed or injection-molded, namely a first part comprising the body of the chassis together with the heel cup, and a second part constituting the toe cup. After the boot has been installed in each of the two cups and the second part has been superposed on the first, assembly is achieved by screwing or riveting vertically through the entire thickness of the elements to be assembled together.

However, that embodiment also presents drawbacks. In order to ensure that the fastener screw or rivet is strongly and rigidly secured in the first part of the chassis, it is necessary for there to be a sufficient thickness of material into which the screw or rivet penetrates, thereby firstly increasing the cost of material during manufacture, and secondly possibly also constituting an obstacle for the disposition of the wheels.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One of the objects of the present invention is to provide a chassis for an in-line skate or an ice skate that mitigates those drawbacks.

The chassis comprises two preformed main parts suitable for being assembled together by a fastener screw, i.e.:

    • a) a first part having, in its bottom portion, the body of the chassis for mounting the wheels or the blade, and, in its top portion, the heel cup; and
    • b) a second part constituting at least the toe cup;
    • In manner characteristic of the invention, the two parts include:
    • longitudinal sliding means suitable for co-operating by the second part sliding relative to the first part from an insertion, front position to an assembled, rear position; and
    • fastener means in which the fastener screw having a longitudinal direction and accessible from the front face of the second part, serves to lock the two parts together in the assembled position.

Thus, during manufacture of the skate, the two parts constituting the chassis are assembled together by two operations that are particularly simple, namely an operation consisting in causing the second part including the toe cup to slide backwards relative to the first part, and a second operation consisting in locking said two assembled parts together by tightening the fastener screw, which screw is visible and accessible from the front face of the second part.

Because of the longitudinal position of the fastener screw, there is no need for height to be taken up for the purpose of anchoring said screw.

In the present specification, it is assumed that the longitudinal direction is the direction corresponding to the travel axis of the skate. The direction of the screw is said to be longitudinal even if said direction is slightly inclined relative to a horizontal plane.

In a variant embodiment, the longitudinal sliding means comprise at least slideway-forming longitudinal groove formed in one of the two parts and a longitudinal shoulder formed in the other part and suitable for sliding as a snug fit in said groove.

Preferably, in this variant, the first part includes a front portion for being situated, after assembly, under the toe cup, said front portion having two outwardly-facing side faces in which two longitudinal grooves are formed; furthermore, the second part includes two bottom fins having two inwardly-facing sides on which there are formed two longitudinal shoulders suitable for sliding in the longitudinal grooves of the first part. This thus provides a front portion of the first part acting as the male element of the sliding means which penetrate into the base defined between the two bottom fins of the second part, which space acts as the female element of the sliding means.

The length of the longitudinal grooves determines the maximum sliding stroke of the second part relative to the first. Each groove is open at its front end to enable the shoulder to be inserted, and it is closed rearwardly.

Preferably, the top and bottom edges of each shoulder and of each groove form between each other and in longitudinal section, a small angle of a few degrees. This particular disposition makes it easier to insert the shoulder in the groove and serves to obtain progressive self-locking by friction between the two parts on approaching the assembled position.

In a variant embodiment, in addition to the fastener screw, the fastening means include a tapped locking insert; the first part includes a cavity suitable for serving as a fitted housing for the tapped insert and for passing the fastener screw; finally, the first and second parts include, in their front faces, through holes which, after assembly, open out into said cavity and enable the fastener screw to pass through and be fastened in the tapped insert.

Preferably, the cavity of the insert is formed in the top face of the front portion of the first part.

The present invention also provides a skate fitted with a chassis possessing all or some of the above-specified characteristics, in which the second part has a toe cup of small size. In characteristic manner, this roller includes a boot whose toe is secured by adhesive to all or part of the inside surface of the toe cup.

Thus, the boot is not secured by virtue of the toe cup being secured to the body of the chassis, but is secured in independent manner. With the toe of the boot already stuck in the toe cup, it suffices for the operator to proceed with the two above-described operations in order to assemble the boot and the chassis.

In a variant embodiment, the boot possesses a rigid sole and an upper whose side flanks are folded under the sole and secured to the bottom face of the sole so as to form two side beads defining a visible zone of the sole in which at least one ventilation hole is provided; the boot is fixed to the toe cup via its sole solely via the two side beads; the second part of the chassis and the boot have respective front openings opening out into the available space between the visible zone of the sole and the toe cup; optionally, the top face of the first part is provided with at least one ventilation hole which, when the chassis is in the assembled position, is in register with the ventilation hole of the rigid sole. Two circuits for ventilating the foot are thus obtained. Air passing through the two front openings in the toe cup and the boot can circulate inside the boot past the toes and can be exhausted via ventilation holes formed in the rigid sole and in the top face of the second part of the chassis. This air can also circulate in the space available between the apparent sole zone and the toe cup and can rise inside the boot via ventilation holes in the top face of the second part and in the rigid sole.

In a second variant embodiment, the skate is fitted with a chassis in accordance with the above-specified characteristics and with a boot that is flexible. In characteristic manner, the second part of the chassis has a toe cup which is provided with rearwardly-extending side extensions that, in the assembled position of the chassis, come to be fitted to the toe cup of the first part, said side extensions defining between them a space into which the flexible boot is inserted, and being themselves fitted with closure means.

Preferably, the side extensions of the second part are secured to the heel cup of the first part.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be better understood on reading the following description of various embodiments of a chassis for a roller, the chassis comprising two preformed parts suitable for being assembled together by longitudinal sliding and for being fastened by a screw extending in a substantially longitudinal direction, the embodiment being shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1 and 2 are diagrammatic perspective views, seen from beneath in FIG. 1 and from above in FIG. 2, showing a first embodiment of a chassis, its two main parts being shown separate;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic perspective view from beneath, corresponding to FIG. 1 and showing the two parts in the assembled-together position;

FIG. 4 is a longitudinal section view of the second part constituting the toe cup and in which a rigid-soled boot is secured by adhesive;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary diagrammatic perspective view of the first part; and

FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic perspective view of a second embodiment of a chassis, the two main parts thereof being shown in the assembled-together position.

MORE DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The chassis for a roller or a skate having in-line wheels as described below is made out of a preformed material, in particular a rigid plastics material that is optionally reinforced. The two main parts making it up are obtained in particular by conventional techniques such as thermoforming, injection-molding.

FIGS. 1 to 3 show a first embodiment of a roller chassis 1 which is made up of two main parts 2 and 3 and of a secondary part 4.

In its bottom portion, the first main part 2 comprises the body proper 5 of the chassis, and in its top part and at its rear end it includes an extension which is referred to as a heel cup 6. It is the body proper 5 of the chassis 1 that carries the wheels in-line (not shown in the figures,) or the blade if the skate is an ice skate. The top face 7 of this first part serves as a support surface for the boot which is placed on the chassis 1 either during assembly thereof, or else subsequently. The heel cup is located at the rear end of this top face 7 and its function is to serve as a housing for receiving the heel of the boot.

In the example shown, the second main part 3 comprises the toe cup 8 together with two small side wings 9 and 10 which extend the toe cup 8 and which take up position on either side of the top face 7 of the first part 2 after assembly, as can be seen in particular in FIG. 3.

In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, the third part 4 constitutes the cuff, i.e. the portion of the chassis that serves to surrounding the boot level with the user's ankle and which is pivotally mounted on the top portion of the heel cup.

According to the invention, the first and second main parts 2 and 3 are assembled together by sliding them longitudinally relative to each other, and they are fastened together by means of a screw extending in a direction that is substantially longitudinal relative to the longitudinal axis of the chassis 2.

This longitudinal sliding is obtained by particular means that are provided firstly on the first part 2, more particularly on the front portion 11 of said first part 2, and secondly on the second part 3, and more precisely on bottom side fins 12, 12′ which extend the toe cup 8 downwards.

The front portion 11 has its top face 11a slightly below the level of the top face 7 of the first part 2. In addition, this front portion 11 is of a width that is likewise smaller than the width of the front edge 7a of the top face 7.

The front portion 11 has side flanks 11b, 11c in which two grooves 13, 13′ are formed.

On the inside faces of the side fins 12, 12′ of the second part 3 there are formed respective shoulders 14, 14′ having the same configuration as the grooves 13, 13′, the shoulders 14, 14′ being designed to engage as a snug fit in the grooves 13, 13′ at the end of longitudinal sliding of the second part 3 relative to the first part 2.

In the embodiment shown, the top and bottom edges of each groove, and thus also of each shoulder, are not strictly parallel but form a small angle of a few degrees relative to each other so as to facilitate inserting the shoulders in the grooves, and so as to ensure that, at the end of sliding the contacting surfaces are locked by friction. Naturally, the grooves 13, 13′ are opened towards the front of the first part and are closed towards the rear.

In the top face 11a of the front portion 11 of the first part 2 there is formed a cross-shaped cavity 16 with a longitudinal segment 16a which corresponds to the passage for the fastener screw, and a transverse segment 16b that acts as a housing for a tapped insert (not shown).

The front face 11d of the front portion 11 of the first part 2 is pierced by a hole 17 which opens out into the longitudinal segment 16a of the cavity 16. This hole 17 serves to pass the fastener screw.

The second part 3 has a transverse spacer 18 between the front ends of the two side fins 12, 12′, which spacer is pierced by a through hole 19. In the assembled position, this through hole 19 in the second part 3 is in alignment with the hole 17 and the longitudinal segment 16a of the cavity 16 in the first part 2.

The two parts 2 and 3 of the chassis 1 are assembled together by performing the following two operations. The first operation consists in placing the second part 3 on the longitudinal axis of the first part 2, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the narrow ends of the shoulders 14, 14′ facing the wider open ends of the grooves 13, 13′. Once the shoulders 14, 14′ have been inserted into the grooves 13, 13′, the second part 3 is caused to slide relative to the first part 2 until the facing faces of the two parts come substantially into abutment against one another. In FIG. 5, shading marks the zones of the first part 2 that acts most particularly as an abutment for the second part 3. The second operation consists in inserting the fastener screw into the through hole 19 in the second part 3 so that it penetrates via the hole 17 into the cavity 16 where it encounters the tapped insert into which it is screwed. Tightening the fastener screw serves to achieve final wedging of the two parts 2 and 3, where such wedging is obtained by friction between the various surfaces contacting one another on the two main parts, and in particular the surfaces of the grooves and the shoulders.

Preferably, and as can be understood on examining the figures, the edges 12a of the side fins 12 of the second part come to bear during such assembly against the edges 42 of the first part 2 that project sideways on either side of the two flanks 11b, 11c of the front portion 11. Thus, in terms of appearance, the two main parts 2 and 3 provide perfect visual continuity. In addition, the assembly is particularly effective in terms of mechanical strength in all directions in three dimensions.

In this first embodiment, the second part 3 comprises only the toe cup 8 extended by the two side wings 9, 10 which extend beyond the rear transverse edge 8a of the toe cup 8. After assembly, the rear edge 8a of the toe cup 8 comes substantially into abutment against the front edge 7a of the top face 7 of the first part 2, while the two side wings 9, 10 extend sideways on either side of said top face 7.

In this embodiment, the user's boot is preferably secured by adhesive to all or part of the inside faces of the toe cup 8 and the side wings 9, 10. Thus, the second part 3 is pre-positioned on the boot so that it suffices to perform the two operations described above in order, simultaneously, to assemble the chassis 1 and put the boot 20 definitively into place on said chassis.

As shown in FIG. 4, it is possible to obtain a particularly effective ventilation system for the user's foot when in the boot 20.

More particularly, the system comprises a boot 20 whose sole 21 is rigid and whose upper is folded under either side of said sole over a certain width so as to form two side beads between which there remains a zone of the rigid sole 21 that is visible. While the boot 20 is being secured to the second part 3, adhesive is applied to the inside faces of the toe cup 8 and the side wings 9, 10 for bonding to the boot 20. The side wings 9, 10 come into contact with the side beads so that between the base 22 of the toe cup 8 and the visible zone of the rigid sole 21 there remains an empty space 23 due to the absence of side beads in this zone.

The toe cup 8 presents a ventilation orifice 24, preferably provided with a grid having a tight mesh so as to avoid foreign bodies penetrating while not preventing air from passing. Similarly, the boot 20 has a front ventilation orifice 25, with the two orifices 24 and 25 being in alignment with each other so that the air penetrating via the orifice 24 of the toe cup 8 can penetrate directly into the inside of the boot 20 along arrow F.

The rigid sole 21 includes at least one other ventilation hole 26 formed in the visible zone of the sole under the sole of the foot. This ventilation hole 26 may be in register with a ventilation hole 27 formed through the top face 7 of the first part 2. It is thus possible to have a second flow of air along arrow G from the ventilation orifice 24 in the toe cup 8 passing via the gap 23 and penetrating into the boot 20 via the central ventilation opening 26 formed in the rigid sole 21. These two ventilation circuits achieve better ventilation of the user's foot and thus improve the comfort of the person wearing the roller.

FIG. 6 shows a second embodiment of a roller chassis 30 that likewise comprises three individual parts. The first part 31 is the same as the first part 2 of the first embodiment described above, having, in its bottom portion, the body 32 of the chassis and, in its top and rear portion, the heel cup 33. The third part 34 is also the same as the first part 4 in the first embodiment, comprising a cuff whose function is to surround the flexible boot level with the user's ankle, and which is pivotally secured by two opposite rivets 35 to the top portion of the heel cup 33.

The second part 36 has exactly the same sliding means and fastening means as the second part 3 of the first embodiment. It differs in that the toe cup 37 which forms the extreme front end of said second part 36 is provided with side extensions 38, 39 which extend the toe cup 37 rearwards. The configuration of these two side extensions 38, 39 is designed firstly to fit to the heel cup 33 and secondly to define a gap 40 for inserting the flexible boot which extends from the toe cup 37 to the heel cup 33 so as to define a relatively rigid shell for protecting the flexible boot once it has been inserted into said shell. In addition, the two side extensions 38, 39 are fitted with closure means 41 enabling the two facing edges 38a and 39a of the two side extensions 38 and 39 to be moved towards each other so as to hold the boot in position inside said shell.

The two side extensions 38, 39 of this second part 36 are secured to the heel cup in appropriate manner, in particular via the rivets 35 which form the pivot axes between the heel cup 33 and the third part 34.

The present invention is not limited to the embodiment described by way of non-exhaustive example. In particular, it applies to a chassis for an ice skate, the parts constituting the structure of the chassis, and in particular the first part, being adapted for this application.

Without further elaboration, it is believed that one skilled in the art can, using the preceding description, utilize the present invention to its fullest extent. The preceding preferred specific embodiments are, therefore, to be construed as merely illustrative, and not limitative of the remainder of the disclosure in any way whatsoever.

In the foregoing and in the examples, all temperatures are set forth uncorrected in degrees Celsius and, all parts and percentages are by weight, unless otherwise indicated.

The entire disclosures of all applications, patents and publications, cited herein and of corresponding French application No. 0311382, filed Sep. 29, 2003 is incorporated by reference herein.

The preceding examples can be repeated with similar success by substituting the generically or specifically described reactants and/or operating conditions of this invention for those used in the preceding examples.

From the foregoing description, one skilled in the art can easily ascertain the essential characteristics of this invention and, without departing from the spirit and scope thereof, can make various changes and modifications of the invention to adapt it to various usages and conditions.