Title:
Bicycle riding apparel
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bicycle jersey is described that includes a pair of front panels, a back panel and a pair of left and right sleeve panels. Each of the sleeve panel includes a sleeve edge and a neck edge. In each of the sleeve panels, a first line is defined that extends perpendicular to the sleeve edge and is a virtual perpendicular bisector of the sleeve edge. In each of the sleeve panels, a second line is defined that extends from neck edge and a neckline of the bicycle jersey along a peak line corresponding to the top of a shoulder of a cyclist wearing the bicycle jersey. A first angle is defined by an intersection between the first line and the second line that is between 30 and 90 degrees.



Inventors:
Okajima, Shinpei (Izumi, JP)
Application Number:
11/136548
Publication Date:
04/27/2006
Filing Date:
05/25/2005
Assignee:
Shimano Inc. (Sakai, JP)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41B1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GLOBAL IP COUNSELORS, LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A cycling jersey having raglan sleeves, comprising: a front panel formed with first sleeve mounting portions and first front-rear mounting portions, each of the first sleeve mounting portions having curved edges configured and arranged such that tops of shoulders of a cyclist are not covered by the front panel, and the first front-rear mounting portions extend downward from respective first sleeve mounting portions; a back panel formed with left and right second sleeve mounting portions and left and right second front-rear mounting portions, the left and right second sleeve mounting portions having sloping curved edges configured and arranged that such that the tops of the shoulders of the cyclist are not covered by the back panel, and the left and right second front-rear mounting portions extend downward from the second sleeve mounting portions and are coupled to respective ones of the first front-rear mounting portions of the front panel; a pair of symmetrical sleeve panels, one for the right side of the cycling jersey and one for the left side of the cycling jersey, each of the sleeve panels having a sleeve edge portion, first and second sleeve forming portions, a first suture portion, a second suture portion and a sleeve neck edge, the first and second sleeve portions coupled to each other to at least partially define a sleeve of the bicycle jersey, the first suture portion being located between the first sleeve portion and the sleeve neck edge, the first suture portion comprising a V-shaped cut portion that is cut from the first sleeve forming portion, the first suture portion of each of the sleeve panels being sutured to respective first sleeve mounting portions of the front panel, the second suture portion of each of the sleeve panels extending from the second sleeve forming portion and being sutured to respective second sleeve mounting portions of the back panel, and the sleeve neck edge extending between the first and second suture portions, the sleeve neck edge of each of the sleeve panels extending over the shoulder of a cyclist to cover the shoulder portion; and wherein a first angle is defined by respective portions of each of the pair of left and right sleeve panels, the first angle being defined by a first line and a second line, the first line extending perpendicularly from a center of the sleeve edge portion of the sleeve panels, the second line extending from the neck portion of the sleeve panels along a peak of the shoulder such that the first angle is between 30 and 90 degrees.

2. The cycling jersey having raglan sleeves according to claim 1 wherein the V-shaped cut portion is formed with a small curving portion and two large curving portions that extend from the small curving portion, the small curving portion having a curvature radius that is between 3 mm and 20 mm, and the two large curving portions diverge extending away from the small curving portion, at least one of the large curving portions having convex contour with a curvature radius of greater than 200 mm but less than 600 mm.

3. The cycling jersey having raglan sleeves according to claim 2 wherein a second angle is defined between the two large curving portions of the V-shaped cut portion of the sleeve panels having a range of between 20 degrees to 80 degrees.

4. The cycling jersey having raglan sleeves according to claim 1 wherein a pair of left and right side members are sutured in place between respective first front-rear mounting portions of the front panel and the second front-rear mounting portion of the rear panel.

5. The cycling jersey having raglan sleeves according to claim 2 wherein a pair of left and right side members are sutured in place between respective first front-rear mounting portions of the front panel and the second front-rear mounting portion of the rear panel.

6. The cycling jersey having raglan sleeves according to claim 3 wherein a pair of left and right side members are sutured in place between respective first front-rear mounting portions of the front panel and the second front-rear mounting portion of the rear panel.

7. The cycling jersey having raglan sleeves according to claim 1 wherein a pair of left and right bottom sleeve panels are sutured in placed between the said first and second sleeve forming portions of respective sleeve panels.

8. The cycling jersey having raglan sleeves according to claim 2 wherein a pair of left and right bottom sleeve panels are sutured in placed between the said first and second sleeve forming portions of respective sleeve panels.

9. The cycling jersey having raglan sleeves according to claim 3 wherein a pair of left and right bottom sleeve panels are sutured in placed between the said first and second sleeve forming portions of respective sleeve panels.

10. The cycling jersey having raglan sleeves according to claim 4 wherein a pair of left and right bottom sleeve panels are sutured in placed between the said first and second sleeve forming portions of respective sleeve panels.

11. The cycling jersey having raglan sleeves according to claim 5 wherein a pair of left and right bottom sleeve panels are sutured in placed between the said first and second sleeve forming portions of respective sleeve panels.

12. The cycling jersey having raglan sleeves according to claim 6 wherein a pair of left and right bottom sleeve panels are sutured in placed between the said first and second sleeve forming portions of respective sleeve panels.

13. A cycling jersey having raglan sleeves, comprising: a plurality of textile panels dimensioned and sutured together to form the cycling jersey, the plurality of textile panels including right and left side sleeve panels, each of the right and left side sleeve panels being arranged and configured in an unstretched state to cover a top portion of shoulders of a cyclist and conform to the shape of a cyclist's upper arms and torso with the cyclist in a riding posture with hands griping handlebars of a bicycle.

14. The cycling jersey having raglan sleeves according to claim 13 wherein each of the left and right side sleeve panels having a sleeve edge portion that extends forward from a front panel of the cycling jersey in the unstretched state conforming to the cyclist in the riding posture.

15. The cycling jersey having raglan sleeves according to claim 13 wherein each of the left and right side sleeve panels having a sleeve edge portion, first and second sleeve forming portions, a first suture portion, a second suture portion and a neck edge portion, the first and second sleeve portions coupled to each other to at least partially define a sleeve of the bicycle jersey, the first suture portion being located between the first sleeve portion and the sleeve neck edge, the first suture portion comprising a V-shaped cut portion that is cut from the first sleeve forming portion, the first suture portion of each of the sleeve panels being sutured to respective first sleeve mounting portions of a front panel of the cycling jersey, the second suture portion of each of the sleeve panels extending from the second sleeve forming portion and being sutured to respective second sleeve mounting portions of a back panel of the cycling jersey, and the sleeve neck edge extending between the first and second suture portions, the sleeve neck edge of each of the sleeve panels extending over the shoulder of a cyclist to cover the shoulder portion; and a first angle defined by respective portions of each of the left and right sleeve panels, the first angle being defined by a first line and a second line, the first line extending perpendicularly from a center of the sleeve edge portion of the sleeve panels, the second line extending from the neck edge portion of the sleeve panels along a peak of the shoulder such that the first angle is between 30 and 90 degrees.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to Japanese Patent Application No. 2004-312527. The entire disclosure of Japanese Patent Application No. 2004-312527 is hereby incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention generally relates to a bicycle riding apparel. More specifically, the present invention relates to a cycling jersey with raglan sleeves that a cyclist wears when riding a bicycle.

2. Background Information

Cycling is becoming an increasingly more popular form of recreation as well as a means of transportation. Moreover, bicycling has become a very popular competitive sport for both amateurs and professionals. Whether the bicycle is used for recreation, transportation or competition, the bicycle industry is constantly improving the various components of the bicycle as well as the apparel worn by casual cyclists and serious cycling enthusiasts alike.

Cycling apparel, such jerseys are well known. Cycling jerseys are typically worn by cyclists when riding in both amateur and professional competitions, such as a road race or an off-road mountain trail course race. Many conventional cycling jerseys are produced with designs that include raglan sleeves. Such jerseys include a sleeve panel that extends from the neck of the cyclist towards the wrist covering at least a portion of the top of the shoulder of the cyclist. Such a jersey is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,210,877.

The conventional jersey is constructed with a front panel and a back panel that extend upward to just below the shoulders of the cyclist. The front and back panels are configured with smooth curved lines that join with a pair of left and right sleeve panels that are positioned to cover the top of the shoulders on both sides of the torso of the cyclist. Each of the sleeve panels is formed with a sleeve edge, a neck portion, a pair of sleeve forming portions and a pair of suture portions. The neck portion and the sleeve edge are formed at opposite ends of the sleeve panel. The pair of sleeve forming portions extend at least part way from the sleeve edge and toward the neck portion. The pair of suture portions extend from respective ones of the pair of the sleeves forming portions to the neck portion and are sutured proximate the neck portion to predetermined sections of the front panel and the back panel. In the pair of sleeve panels, an angle is formed by the intersection between a first line that is a virtual perpendicular bisector extending from the sleeve edge and a second line that extends from the neck to the shoulder along the peak of the shoulder of the cyclist. This angle is between 0 and 15 degrees. Further, in the conventional jersey, the sleeve edge of the sleeve panel faces downward to the side in what appears to be an unstretched state.

In the conventional bicycle jersey, the sleeve edge of the sleeve panel is contoured to extend downward to the lower portion of the cyclist's torso. More specifically, in the absence of gravity, the sleeve edge of a conventional bicycle jersey is cut and oriented to extend along the cyclist's side towards the waist by virtue of the suturing and the shape of the sleeve panels. The problem is that when a cyclist is riding, the cyclist assumes a riding posture where the cyclist leans forward and holds the arms out to engage the handlebar of the bicycle. In particular, drop handlebars on a road racer or a straight handlebar in a mountain bicycle require the cyclist's upper arms to extend outward about perpendicular to the cyclist's torso and forearms extend forward toward the handlebar. Hence, when the cyclist assumes the riding posture, the sleeve edge of each the sleeve panels faces the front of the bicycle. The conventional jersey must stretch in the upper arm and shoulder areas to accommodate the riding posture of the cyclist.

Therefore, in the riding posture where the cyclist holds the handlebar of the bicycle, rucks (i.e., wrinkles or folds) appear on the front and side of the sleeve panel proximate the shoulder areas of the cyclist. These rucks have an adverse effect on air resistance. Further, a backside of the shoulder section of the sleeve panel is being stretched and is narrowed with the cyclist in the riding posture, thus making the cyclist uncomfortable.

In view of the above, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art from this disclosure that there exists a need for an improved bicycle jersey that eliminates the formation of tucks in order to improve wind resistance characteristics of the jersey. This invention addresses this need in the art as well as other needs, which will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this disclosure.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One object of the present invention is to provide bicycle apparel with improved wind resistance characteristics.

Another object of the present invention is to improve the comfort level of a cyclist wearing bicycle apparel with the cyclist in a riding posture holding the handlebar of a bicycle.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, bicycle jersey includes raglan sleeves that a cyclist wears when riding a bicycle, and is formed with a pair of left and right front panels, a back panel and a pair of left and right sleeve panels. Each of the front panel is formed with first sleeve mounting portions and first front-rear mounting portions. The first sleeve mounting portions are formed with sloping curved contours that are dimensioned such that the shoulders of the rider are exposed (not covered) at the top by the front panels. The first front-rear mounting portions are extend from the first sleeve mounting portions. The back panel is formed with left and right second sleeve mounting portions and left and right second front-rear mounting portions. The second sleeve mounting portions are formed with sloping curved contours that are dimensioned such that the shoulders of the cyclist are exposed (not covered by the back panel). The second front-rear mounting portions extend from the second sleeve mounting parts and are coupled to the first front-rear mounting portions. The sleeve panels are formed with a sleeve edge, first and second sleeve forming portions, a first suture portion, a second suture portion and a neck portion. The first and second sleeve forming portions have curved concave contours that are coupled to each other to form a sleeve of the bicycle jersey. The first suture portion is a V-shaped cutout that is cut from the first sleeve forming portion and is sutured to the first sleeve mounting portion of a respective front panel. The second suture portion extends from the second sleeve forming portion and is sutured to the second sleeve mounting portion of the back panel. The neck portion bridges the first and second suture portions. The neck portion extends up over the shoulder of the cyclist bridging a gap between the front and back panels. The sleeve panels define first and second lines that intersect to form a first angle. The first line extends perpendicularly from a center of the sleeve edge portion of the sleeve panels and is a virtual bisector of the sleeve edge portion. The second line extends from the neck portion of the sleeve panels along a peak of the shoulder such that the first angle is between 30 and 90 degrees.

The bicycle jersey of the present invention provides a greater level of comfort to the cyclist and reduced wind resistance because of the configuration and dimensions of the sleeve panel. The first angle formed between the first line and the second line in each of the sleeve panels is preferably between 30 and 90 degrees. The angle is possible in part due to the V-shaped cutout established on a first suture portion and is a suture point with the front of the sleeve panel. The first angle is located at the intersection of the first and the second lines. Specifically the first angle that is between 30 and 90 degrees and is formed where a sleeve line (the first line) and a shoulder line (the second line) intersect. The first angle is wider than in conventional jerseys. As a result, the entire sleeve of the assembled bicycle jersey extends forward and upward with respect to the vertical orientation of the jersey. More specifically, the sleeve is angled toward the front of the bicycle jersey by the size of the first angle. Additionally, by setting a V-shaped cut part and suturing it to the front panel, the sleeve edge portion faces forward and extends in front beyond a vertical plane coinciding with the front most areas of the front panel. As a consequence, since the sleeve edge portion faces forward, the bicycle jersey of the present invention conforms to the torso and arm orientation of a cyclist in a riding posture riding a bicycle and gripping the handlebar with both hands. The cyclist is able to maintain the riding posture with the bicycle jersey conforming to his riding posture since the sleeves and torso sections of the bicycle jersey have an overall shape that mimics the cyclists riding posture. The cyclist's arms and shoulders are fitted more comfortably within the bicycle jersey. Rucks, wrinkles and folds are less likely to form in the front and side of areas around the cyclist's shoulders. Therefore, the comfort level of the cyclist is improved, and air resistance is reduced.

In another aspect of the present invention, the V-shaped cut portion is formed with a small curving portion and two large curving portions that extend from the small curving portion. The small curving portion has a curvature radius that is between 3 mm and 20 mm, and the two large curving portions diverge extending away from the small curving portion. At least one of the large curving portions has convex contour with a curvature radius of greater than 200 mm but less than 600 mm.

In another aspect of the invention, a second angle is defined between the two large curving portions of the V-shaped cut portion of the sleeve panels having a range of between 20 degrees to 80 degrees. Since the second angle is formed where both the large curving portions, it becomes easy for the front area of the sleeve portion to face the front bicycle jersey. The smaller the second angle is, the more the sleeve portion faces the front of the cloth. The second angle is preferably smaller for the apparel used by a cyclist riding a bicycle in the riding posture.

In another aspect of the invention, a pair of left and right side members are sutured in place between respective first front-rear mounting portions of the front panels and the second front-rear mounting portion of the rear panel. By including a pair of left and right side members, the bicycle jersey more comfortably fits the a human body, in particular a cyclist in the riding posture. Air resistance is reduced by elimination of rucks, folds and wrinkles and the comfort level of the cyclist in the riding posture is improved.

In yet another aspect of the present invention, a pair of left and right bottom sleeve panels are sutured between the first and second sleeve forming portions of respective sleeve panels. Inclusion of the pair of the left and right bottom sleeve members makes it easier to conform the sleeve panel of the bicycle jersey to the upper arm of a cyclist in the riding posture. Air resistance is reduced by elimination of rucks, folds and wrinkles and the comfort level of the cyclist in the riding posture is improved.

According to the present invention, by adjusting the first angle at the intersection of the first and second lines, specifically between 30 and 90 degrees where the shoulder and the sleeve intersect, the angle is larger than the corresponding angle in conventional jerseys. As a result, the entire sleeve part extends forward from a front vertical plane defined by the front of the torso area of the bicycle jersey. In addition, by adjusting the V-shaped cutout and suturing it with the front panel, the sleeve portion faces outward and of a torso section of the bicycle jersey. As a consequence, the sleeve portion extends forward of the front of the bicycle jersey, in particular when a cyclist rides a bicycle and holds the handlebar with both hands. The cyclist's arms extend toward the front of the bicycle jersey and since the bicycle jersey conforms to the cyclists shape, the back panel and areas around the cyclist's shoulder are snug but not tight. Rucks, folds and wrinkles are less likely to appear in the sleeve panel at the front and side areas around the cyclist's shoulder. Therefore, air resistance is reduced by elimination of rucks, folds and wrinkles and the comfort level of the cyclist in the riding posture is improved.

These and other objects, features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, which, taken in conjunction with the annexed drawings, discloses a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Referring now to the attached drawings which form a part of this original disclosure:

FIG. 1 is a front side diagrammatic perspective view of a bicycling jersey in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a back side diagrammatic perspective view of the bicycling jersey depicted in FIG. 1, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a top view showing a pattern layout of all panels of cut fabric that are subsequently assembled to form the bicycling jersey depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged view of one piece of the cut fabric shown in FIG. 3, the panel of the cut fabric corresponding to a right side sleeve panel of the bicycling jersey, in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of a bicycle and a cyclist with the cyclist in a riding posture wearing the bicycling jersey in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Selected embodiments of the present invention will now be explained with reference to the drawings. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art from this disclosure that the following descriptions of the embodiments of the present invention are provided for illustration only and not for the purpose of limiting the invention as defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.

Referring initially to FIG. 1, a cycling jersey 10 is illustrated in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention. In the description below, the terms “inward” and “outward”, “upper” and “lower” are with reference to general locations on the cycling jersey 10 relative to a cyclist's C torso T (see FIG. 5). For instance, an upper area or direction would correspond to the upper portion of the torso T toward the neck area of the cyclist C. An inward area or inward direction would generally correspond to the center of the chest or center of the back of the torso T. An outward area or direction would correspond to the sides of the torso T or in the direction away from the sides of the torso T.

The cycling jersey 10 of the present invention is dimensioned to conform to the shape of a cyclist C in a riding posture. For example, FIG. 5 shows the cyclist C in the riding posture, leaning forward on a bicycle 50 with upper arms 53 extending downward relative to the bicycle (forward relative to the cycling jersey 10), as the cyclist's forearms 54 extend forward to grip the handlebar 51 of the bicycle 50. As is described below, various panels are sutured together to form the cycling jersey 10 of the present invention. These panels are geometrically shaped to mimic and conform the riding posture of the cyclist C in an unstretched state, as is described in greater detail below.

In FIGS. 1 and 2, the cycling jersey 10 in one embodiment of the present invention is a type of sports apparel that a cyclist C wears primarily when riding a bicycle either for exercise or for racing, such as road racing or a mountain bicycle racing. The cycling jersey 10 includes symmetrical left and right sleeve panels 24 and 25 that extend from opposite sides of the neck area of the cyclist C and over the shoulders of the cyclist. Each of the left and right sleeve panels 24 and 25 also includes raglan sleeves that are short sleeves in the depicted embodiment, and has a placket in a front portion thereof. Further, as show in FIGS. 1 and 2, the left and right sleeve panels 24 and 25 are cut and fitted so that the shape and contour of the sleeves of the cycling jersey 10 mimic the relative position of a cyclists arms when the cyclist C is in a riding posture holding handlebars of a bicycle, as is described in greater detail below.

The cycling jersey 10 depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2 is shown in an unstretched state. More specifically, the shape of the cycling jersey 10 shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 is an unmolested state in that the fabric is neither stretched nor is the fabric wrinkled or fold in any way. The orientation of the cycling jersey 10 in FIGS. 1 and 2 includes a desired contour, where the sleeves are extending forward and outward of the torso portion of the cycling jersey 10.

The cycling jersey 10 basically includes a pair of separate left and right front panels 21 and 22, a back panel 23, the above mentioned pair of the left and right sleeve panels 24 and 25, a pair of the left and right side panels 26 and 27, a pair of bottom sleeves panels 28 and 29 and a neck panel 30. As is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the left and right side panels 26 and 27 are positioned between respective portions of the left and right front panels 21 and 22 and the back panel 23. Further, the bottom sleeves panels 28 and 29 are positioned at a lower portion of respective ones of the left and right sleeve panels 24 and 25. The various panels of the cycling jersey 10 are joined together by sutures (i.e. garment sewing sutures).

At a lower portion of the back panel 23, a pocket 31 is formed for carrying items such as a water bottle. Further, the front panels 21 and 22 are each attached to respective portions of a mechanical zipper 32 that allows joining and separation of the front panels 21 and 22.

The individual panels of the cycling jersey 10 are now described individually with specific reference to FIG. 3. FIG. 3 shows each of the separate panels that are sutured together to form the cycling jersey 10 in a layout corresponding to cutouts from fabric. The panels of the cycling jersey 10 can be cut from any of a variety of fabric materials, such as a polyester material, that includes a mesh configuration that is able to breath or vent moisture. The panels of the cycling jersey 10 are preferably cut out using a pre-configured pattern such that the panels shown in FIG. 3 are obtained. The panels of the cycling jersey 10 shown in FIG. 3 are laid out such that an outward side of the cut material is shown. Specifically, the panels of the cycling jersey 10 depicted in FIG. 3 subsequently form the outer side of the garment. It should be recognized by one of ordinary skill in the art that the additional flaps of material around the periphery of each panel of the cycling jersey 10 and the corresponding line spaced slightly apart from the periphery of each panel represents a suture line, a fold line or sewing line where adjacent panels of the cycling jersey 10 are joined. More specifically, the lines spaced slightly apart from the periphery of each panel represent preferred locations of seams between adjacent panels of the cycling jersey 10.

As shown in the lower right in FIG. 3, the left and right front panels 21 and 22 are symmetrically shaped being mirror images of one another. Each of the left and right front panels 21 and 22 is formed with a corresponding pair of left and right first sleeve mounting portions 21a and 22a, with first front-rear mounting portions 21b and 22b, first neckline portions 21c and 22c, zipper mounting portions 21d and 22d, and front lower hem portions 21e and 22e.

The left and right first sleeve mounting portions 21a and 22a include sloping curved lines that are positioned such that the tops of the shoulders of the cyclist C wearing the cycling jersey 10 are not covered by the left and right front panels 21 and 22. The first sleeve mounting portions 21a and 22a are configured with an almost S-shaped curved contour or serpentine contour that extends obliquely downward toward outer respective sides thereof, and after curving outward in a convex fashion, curves in a concave fashion.

The first front-rear mounting portions 21b and 22b are located on respective sides of the left and right front panel 21 and 22 extending from and below the first sleeve mounting portions 21a and 22a. The first front-rear mounting portions 21b and 22b are formed to be folded downward from the first sleeve mounting portions 21a and 22a, and configured with a compound shape, having a curved portion and a straight portion.

The first neckline portions 21c and 22c extend inward from the first sleeve mounting portions 21a and 21b and have a curved contour that is generally semi-circular in shape. The first neckline portions 21c and 22c are configured with a circular-shaped curved edge that extends toward the inner side of the cycling jersey 10.

The zipper mounting portions 21d and 22d extend downward from the inside of the first neckline portions 21c and 22c. The zipper 32 (FIG. 1) is mounted on the zipper mounting portions 21d and 22d releasably linking both the left and right front panels 21 and 22.

The front lower hem portions 21e and 22e extend between the zipper mounting portions 21d and 22d and respective first front-rear mounting portions 21b and 22b. The front lower hem portions 21e and 22e are configured with curved edges that curve upward in a convex fashion toward the center of the cycling jersey 10. Even if a rider slouches, rucks hardly appear on the cycling jersey 10.

The back panel 23, as shown in the top middle in FIG. 3, is provided with a pair of the left and right second sleeve mounting portions 23a and 23b, a pair of the left and right second front-rear mounting portions 23c and 23d, a rear lower hem portion 23e and a second neckline portion 23f.

The pair of the left and right second sleeve mounting portions 23a and 23b are each formed with a sloping curved contour that are dimensioned to extend just below the shoulders of the cyclist, such that the shoulders are not completely covered by the back panel 23. The pair of the left and right second front-rear mounting portions 23c and 23d extend downward from the left and right second sleeve mounting portions 23a and 23b, respectively, to rear lower hem portion 23e. The left and right second front-rear mounting portions 23c and 23d are fixed by sutures to respective ones of the first front-rear mounting portions 21b and 22b of the left and right front panels 21 and 22, and are also fixed by sutures to the side members 26 and 27.

The rear lower hem portion 23e of the back panel 23 extends between the bottom edges of the left and right second front-rear mounting portions 23c and 23d. The second neckline portion 23f is formed as a projection that extends upward between the upper ends of the left and right second front-rear mounting portions 23c and 23d.

The second sleeve mounting portions 23a and 23b are formed with a curving contour extending outward in a convex fashion, and going obliquely downward toward the left and right second front-rear mounting portions 23c and 23d. The second front-rear mounting portions 23c and 23d are configured with a curved line that is slightly concaved inward. The rear lower hem portion 23e is configured with a curved contour that swells circularly toward its center. Therefore, the back 23 is longer than the left and right front panels 21 and 22. Even with the rider or cyclist C slouching or leaning forward, the cycling jersey 10 can cover an upper portion of pants worn by the cyclist. The second neckline portion 23f projects upward and has a concave circular contour.

As shown in the lower left in FIG. 3, in a preferred embodiment the left and right sleeve panels 24 and 25 are short sleeves that are symmetrical to one another (left and right hand mirror images of one another). The sleeve panels 24 and 25 are dimensioned and located to cover the shoulders of the rider/cyclist C along with the left and right front panels 21 and 22 and the back panel 23.

The sleeve panels 24 and 25 basically include sleeve edges 24a and 25a, first sleeve forming portions 24b and 25b, second sleeve forming portions 24c and 25c, first suture portions 24d and 25d, second suture portions 24e and 25e, and sleeve neck edges 24f and 25f. The first sleeve forming portions 24b and 25b and the second sleeve forming portions 24c and 25c bend and curve away from the sleeve edges 24a and 25a and are coupled by suture with the bottom sleeve panels 28 and 29 to form sleeves for the cycling jersey 10. The first suture portions 24d and 25d are formed with V-shaped cutout portions 33 and 34, cut from the first sleeve forming portions 24b and 25b. The first suture portions 24d and 25d are sutured to the first sleeve mounting portions 21a and 22a of the left and right front panels 21 and 22, respectively. The second suture portions 24e and 25e extend from the second sleeve forming portions 24c and 25c and are sutured in the second sleeve mounting portions 23a and 23b at respective sides of the back panel 23. The sleeve neck edges 24f and 25f extend between the first suture portions 24d and 25d and the second suture portions 24e and 25e, respectively.

The sleeve edges 24a and 25a are configured with generally straight edges to form the end of the sleeves of the cycling jersey 10. The first sleeve forming portions 24b and 25b and the second sleeve forming portions 24c and 25c are slightly concaved, as shown in FIG. 3, extend from opposite ends of respective sleeve edges 24a and 25a. The first sleeve forming portions 24b and 25b are placed in front by the second sleeve forming portions 24c and 25c. The first sleeve forming portions 24b and 25b are shorter than the second sleeve forming portions 24c and 25c. The difference in length between the first sleeve forming portions 24b and 25b and the second sleeve forming portions 24c and 25c is due to the sleeve edges 24a and 25a being positioned toward the front of the cycling jersey 10 forming the front edge of the sleeves.

The left and right sleeve panels 24 and 25 are generally mirror images of one another and are therefore functionally the same due to their symmetry. Therefore, description of one applies to both. FIG. 4 shows only the right sleeve panel 25 in order to provide a description thereof, and in particular, a description of the first suture portion 25d. Since the left sleeve panel 24 is symmetrical to but otherwise the same as the right sleeve panel 25, the description of the first suture portion 24d is omitted for the sake brevity.

The first suture portion 25d of the left sleeve panel 25 includes a V-shaped cut portion 34. The cut portion 34 includes a small curving portion 34a and a pair of large curving portions 34b and 34c that extend from the small curving portion 34a. The large curving portions 34b and 34c diverge away from one another such that the space defined therebetween becomes gradually wider from both edges of the small curving portion 34a. The curvature radius R1 from the center O1 of the small curving portion 34a is, for example, set in the range of 3 mm to 20 mm, which is in the preferred range of 5 mm to 10 mm. In the depicted embodiment, the curvature radius R1 is 7 mm. The large curving portion 34b extends toward the first sleeve forming portion 25b curving from a first end of the small curving portion 34a. The curvature radius R2 from the center O2 of the large curving portion 34b is set in the range of 200 mm to 600 mm, which is in the preferred range of 300 mm to 400 mm. In the depicted embodiment, the curvatures radius R2 is 333 mm. In addition, the large curving portion 34c extends toward the sleeve neck edge 25f curving from the other end of the small curving portion 34a. The curvature radius R3 from the center O3 of the large curving portion 34c is in the range of 200 mm to 600 mm, which is in the preferred range of 300 mm to 400 mm. In the depicted embodiment the curvature radius R3 is 333 mm. An angle α2 is defined by an intersection between tangent lines of the large curving portions 34b and 34c. Specifically, a tangent line C2 of the radius R2 drawn from the center of the large curving portion 34b, and another tangent line C3 of the radius R3 drawn from the center of the large curving portion 34c intersect to define the angle α2. The angle α2 is preferably a small angle in the range of between 20 degrees to 80 degrees. In the depicted embodiment, the angle α2 is approximately 45 degrees.

With the V-shaped cut portion 34 formed with the angle α2 within the preferred range, the sleeve panel 25 is cut and sized to join with other panels of the cycling jersey 10 such that the sleeve panel 25 extends outwardly to the side and forward from the right front panel 22, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. More specifically, the first sleeve forming portion 25b of the sleeve panel 25 faces downward but extends forward from the front panel 22. The sleeve neck edge 25f of the sleeve panel 25 faces upward extending along the neckline of the cycling jersey 10. The first sleeve forming portion 25b and the sleeve neck edge 25f extend away from one another about the small curving portion 34a of the jersey 10. Hence, the sleeve portion 25a does not face downward but rather faces upward and forward. The separate extending directions of the sleeve forming portion 25b and the sleeve neck edge 25f becomes more apparent when the second angle α2 is reduced.

Referring again to FIG. 4 (and FIG. 1), a first angle α1 is defined between and first line L1 and a second line L2. The first line L1 is perpendicular bisector for the sleeve edge 25a of the sleeve panel 25. More specifically, the first line L1 extends from a central of the sleeve edge 25a and perpendicular to the sleeve edge 25a. The second line L2 extends from a point proximate the center of the sleeve neck edge 25f in the direction corresponding to the peak of a cyclist's shoulder when wearing the cycling jersey 10. The first angle α1 is set in the range of 30 to 90 degrees, which is in the preferred range of 30 to 60 degrees. In the depicted embodiment, first angle α1 is set to 57 degrees. When the first angle α1 exceeds 90 degrees, the cyclist C wearing the cycling jersey 10 may have the feeling of tightness from the garment. Further, when the first angle α1 is below 30 degrees, the sleeve panel 25 faces the side, rucks easily appear, and it becomes easy for it to be stretched when a rider wears it. By making the first and second lines L1 and L2 cross in this first angle α1, the entire sleeve panel 25 faces the inward of a vertical line of the cloth, specifically the front according to the crossing angle, and the sleeve portion 25a faces the front.

The second suture portions 24e and 25e, as shown in FIG. 3, are formed with a smooth curvature that is sutured in the second sleeve mounting portions 23a and 23b of the back panel 23. The seam line part of the second suture portions 24e and 25e and the second sleeve forming portions 24c and 25c intersect at a sharp angle.

The sleeve neck edges 24f and 25f are curved toward the first neckline portions 21c and 22c of the front panels 21 and 22 and the second neckline portions 23f of the back panel 23. The neck panel 30 is sutured to couple to these portions of the panels.

The pair of the left and right side members 26 and 27 are symmetrical to one another. The pair of the left and right side members 26 and 27 are formed with first connecting portions 26a and 27a, second connecting portions 26b and 27b, first armhole portions 26c and 27c, side lower hem portions 26d and 27d and third sleeve mounting portions 26e and 27e. The first connecting portions 26a and 27a are sutured to the first front-rear mounting portions 21b and 22b of the front panels 21 and 22. The second connecting portions 26b and 27b are placed facing the first connecting portions 26a and 27a and sutured to the second front-rear mounting portions 23c and 23d of the back panel 23. The first armhole portions 26c and 27c are placed at the top and concaved to be circular. The side lower hem portions 26d and 27d are placed at a lower portion thereof, but are angled extending upward. The third sleeve mounting portions 26e and 27e are shaped with a curved contour extending from the second connecting portions 26b and 27b and intersect the first armhole portions 26c and 27c at a sharp angle. By forming the side members 26 and 27 with the above features, it is easy for the cycling jersey 10 to fit a cyclist's body. Increases in air resistance by formation of rucks, wrinkles or folds is prevented and stretching of the front panels 21 and 22 and the back panel 23 is less likely since the cycling jersey 10 confirms to the riding posture of the cyclist. Further, the comfort of the cyclist C is improved by inclusion of these features.

The pair of the left and right bottom sleeve panels 28 and 29 are symmetrical mirror images of one another. The pair of the left and right bottom sleeve panels 28 and 29 are formed with bottom sleeve edges 28a and 29a, third connecting portions 28b and 29b, fourth connecting portions 28c and 29c, second armhole portions 28d and 29d and third armhole portions 28e and 29e.

Each end of the bottom sleeve edges 28a and 29a is sutured respective ends of the sleeve edges 24a and 25a of the sleeve panels 24 and 25 such that the bottom sleeve edges 28a and 29a form the bottom of sleeves of the cycling jersey 10. The third connecting portions 28b and 29b extend from the front of the bottom sleeve edges 28a and 29a along the first sleeve forming portions 24b and 25b of the sleeve panels 24 and 25. The fourth connecting portions 28c and 29c extend from the back side of the bottom sleeve edges 28a and 29a along the second sleeve forming portions 24c and 25c of the sleeve panels 24 and 25. The second armhole portions 28d and 29d and third armhole portions 28e and 29e extend between the third connecting portions 28b and 29b and the fourth connecting portions 28c and 29c, respectively and have a convex shape.

The third connecting portions 28b and 29b are sutured to the first sleeve forming portions 24b and 25b. The fourth connecting portions 28c and 29c are sutured to portions of the second sleeve forming portions 24c and 25c except for the armhole side. The second armhole portions 28d and 29d are sutured to the first armhole portions 26c and 27c of the side members 26 and 27. The third armhole portions 28e and 29e are sutured on the armhole side of the second sleeve forming portions 24c and 25c of the sleeve panels 24 and 25. In addition, the edge part of the second sleeve forming portions 24c and 25c are sutured to the third sleeve mounting portions 26e and 27e of the side members 26 and 27. By including the bottom sleeve panels 28 and 29, it becomes easy for the sleeve panels 24 and 25 to fit the upper arm, air resistance is reduced by a reduction or elimination of rucks, the sleeve panels 24 and 25 are not likely to be stretched, and the comfort of the cyclist C is improved.

In the cycling jersey 10 by the first embodiment of this invention with a configuration as described above, by forming the sleeve panels 24 and 25 for the first line L1 and the second line L2 to with the preferred the first angle α1, when the sleeve panels 24 and 25 are sutured to the front panels 21 and 22 and the back panel 23, the entire part faces inward of the vertical line of the cloth, specifically the front according to the first angle α1, and the sleeve edge 25a faces forward. Moreover, by optimizing the V-shaped cut portion 34 intersecting the second angle α2, and suturing it to the front panels 21 and 22, the front sleeve panels 24 and 25 face further forward with respect to left and right vertical lines of the jersey 10. Thereby, as shown in FIG. 5, since the sleeve panels 24 and 25 face the front of the cycling jersey 10, even if a cyclist C slouches while he rides the bicycle 50, and holds with both hands the handlebar such as the handlebar 51, and the forearms 53 go to the front of the cycling jersey 10, it remains loose in the back and side of shoulders (does not stretch), and rucks hardly appear in the front and side of the shoulder. Therefore, the comfort of the cycling jersey 10 is improved while the cyclist C holds the handlebar 51, and air resistance is also reduced.

As a result of the specific configuration of the V-shaped cut portion 34 in the left and right sleeve panels 24 and 25, the sleeves of the cycling jersey 10 extend forward from the torso T of the cyclist C, as indicated in FIGS. 1 and 2. As a result, when the cyclist C assumes the riding posture shown in FIG. 5, the cyclist's torso T is generally horizontally inclined and the sleeves of the cycling jersey 10 extend downward with the cyclist C holding on to the handlebars 51 of the bicycle 50.

As used herein to describe the present invention, the following directional terms “forward, rearward, above, downward, vertical, horizontal, below and transverse” as well as any other similar directional terms refer to those directions of a bicycle equipped with the present invention. Accordingly, these terms, as utilized to describe the present invention should be interpreted relative to a bicycle equipped with the present invention.

Alternative Embodiments

Alternative embodiments will now be explained. In view of the similarity between the first embodiment and the alternative embodiments, the parts of the alternative embodiments that are identical to the parts of the first embodiment will be given the same reference numerals as the parts of the first embodiment. Moreover, the descriptions of the parts of the alternative embodiments that are identical to the parts of the first embodiment may be omitted for the sake of brevity.

In one alternative embodiment, the side panels 26 and 27 and the bottom sleeve panels 28 and 29 are further improved to make the cycling jersey 10 more comfortable. For instance, in the first embodiment, the side panels 26 and 27 and the bottom sleeve panels 28 and 29 are preferably made of a material that has some elasticity. However, in order to improve comfort, the zipper 32 between the front panels 21 and 22 can be eliminated and alternative zippers (not shown) may be installed at the side panels 26 and 27 and/or the bottom sleeve panels 28 and 29.

In another alternative embodiment, the cycling jersey 10 can be used for activities other than cycling.

In another alternative embodiment, the cycling jersey 10 can be adapted for use with attached pants. Specifically, a one piece article of clothing or apparel can be constructed that includes a pants portion and a jersey portion sutured together, with the one piece article of clothing having the design considerations and configuration of the sleeve panels 24 and 24 as described above incorporated therein.

In another alternative embodiment, the cycling jersey 10 described above can be constructed with long sleeves instead of short sleeves.

In understanding the scope of the present invention, the term “comprising” and its derivatives, as used herein, are intended to be open ended terms that specify the presence of the stated features, elements, components, groups, integers, and/or steps, but do not exclude the presence of other unstated features, elements, components, groups, integers and/or steps. The foregoing also applies to words having similar meanings such as the terms, “including”, “having” and their derivatives. Also, the terms “member” or “element” when used in the singular can have the dual meaning of a single part or a plurality of parts. Finally, terms of degree such as “substantially”, “about” and “approximately” as used herein mean a reasonable amount of deviation of the modified term such that the end result is not significantly changed. These terms of degree should be construed as including a deviation of at least ±5% of the modified term if this deviation would not negate the meaning of the word it modifies.

While only selected embodiments have been chosen to illustrate the present invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art from this disclosure that various changes and modifications can be made herein without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. Furthermore, the foregoing descriptions of the embodiments according to the present invention are provided for illustration only, and not for the purpose of limiting the invention as defined by the appended claims and their equivalents.