Title:
Apparatus for producing simulated V-twin motorcycle sound in bicycles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a balloon and balloon-holding device and a method for conditioning the surface of the balloon for producing a simulated motorcycle engine sound similar to a V-twin motorcycle using a bicycle. The device comprises a balloon trap to cause the balloon to act as its own sound box and thereby produce a loud resonant sound. A method is disclosed to lubricate the surface of the balloon to prolong the useful life of the balloon.



Inventors:
Maraccini, Gino (Wheaton, IL, US)
Maraccini, Jerome (Wheaton, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/262072
Publication Date:
05/18/2006
Filing Date:
10/27/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
446/409
International Classes:
A63H5/00; A63H17/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RICCI, JOHN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A simulated engine balloon holder sound producer for attachment to a bicycle comprising, in combination: (a) a bicycle having a wheel support arm mounted thereon and a spoked wheel mounted thereon for rotation in a plane parallel therewith, (b) an arched balloon-holding device, (c) a natural latex elastic elongated balloon mounted on said arched balloon holding device and in proximity engagement with spokes of said spoked wheel of said bicycle, (d) a balloon trap mounted on said arched balloon-holding device in proximity to said balloon as means to contain and trap said balloon in place on said balloon-holding device, restrain said balloon from twisting in place and turning back from said spokes to control the loudness of sound produced by said balloon upon engagement of said balloon with spokes of said spoked wheel of said bicycle, (e) an attaching means to attach said balloon holder sound producer to said bicycle.

2. The simulated engine balloon holder sound producer of claim 1 wherein said arched balloon-holding device comprises an arched support handle and elements mounted thereon comprising: (a) two L-shaped support brackets, (b) two C-clamps, (c) nuts, bolts and washers to affix said elements to said arched support handle.

3. The simulated engine balloon holder sound producer of claim 1 wherein said balloon trap comprises a roller brake and a balloon trap holder carriage.

4. The balloon trap of claim 3 wherein said roller brake comprises a plastic tube with a polished surface with a low coefficient of sliding friction when two surfaces are pressed together.

5. The balloon trap of claim 3 wherein materials of said plastic tube are selected from polypropylene, polystyrene, polyethylene, nylon, acrylics and other polymers including composites thereof.

6. The balloon trap of claim 3 wherein said balloon trap holder carriage is of a ductile composition to position the balloon trap in proximity to the trapped balloon to control the resulting sound of the trapped balloon.

7. The simulated engine balloon holder sound producer of claim 1 wherein said attaching means to attach said balloon holder sound producer to said bicycle comprises a clamping means of a clamping mechanism secured by application of fastening tape to area of attachment to said bicycle and frame thereof of said bicycle.

8. The attaching means of claim 7 wherein said clamping means of a clamping mechanism comprises spring loaded C-clamps.

9. The simulated engine balloon holder sound producer of claim 1 wherein said attaching means to attach said balloon holder sound producer to said bicycle comprises two clamping mechanisms of two snap-on clip attachments of clips sized to be pressed onto bicycle forks of said bicycle to secure said balloon holding device to the bicycle frame.

10. The simulated engine balloon holder sound producer of claim 1 wherein said arched balloon-holding device comprises an arched straight bracket with notches at each end to engage twisted ends of the balloon.

11. The simulated engine balloon holder sound producer of claim 1 wherein said natural latex elastic elongated balloon has twisted ends of the balloon, which engage bolts mounted on two L-shaped support brackets mounted on said arched balloon-holding device.

12. A method of prolonging the useful life of a natural rubber balloon in a simulated engine balloon holder sound producer, comprising the steps of: (a) providing an inflated natural rubber balloon to be processed, (b) providing a plurality of natural rubber lubricants from sources other than hydrocarbon sources, (c) subjecting said inflated balloon to processing of natural rubber surface of said inflated balloon wherein at least one natural rubber lubricant of said plurality of natural rubber lubricants is applied to the surface of said inflated balloon in an abrasion-resisting film.

13. The method of prolonging the useful life of a natural rubber balloon of claim 12 wherein said abrasion-resisting film is characterized by being applied to surface of said inflated balloon by means of a wiping cloth containing a wiping solution content.

14. The method of prolonging the useful life of a natural rubber balloon of claim 12 wherein said plurality of natural rubber lubricants from sources other than hydrocarbon sources comprise glycerol and commercially available natural rubber lubricants specifically formulated to provide lubricant properties to natural rubber articles.

15. A sound producing apparatus comprising a balloon-holding device, a balloon, and method for conditioning surface of said balloon to produce a simulated motorcycle motor sound by operation of a bicycle, comprising elements: (a) a natural latex elastic elongated balloon, (b) an arched support handle, (c) a balloon trap mounted thereon, (d) two L-support brackets mounted thereon, (e) two L-support bracket bolts to mount two L-support brackets on said arched support handle, (f) two C-clamps mounted on said arched support handle, (g) two C-clamp bolts to mount said C-clamps on said arched support handle, (h) nuts and washers to secure elements of said holding device, and (i) a natural latex lubricant to condition surface of said balloon.

16. The apparatus comprising a balloon-holding device, a balloon, and method for conditioning surface of said balloon of claim 15 wherein said balloon trap comprises a trap holder and a roller brake.

17. The apparatus comprising a balloon-holding device, a balloon, and method for conditioning surface of said balloon of claim 16 wherein said roller brake comprises a plastic roller brake.

18. The apparatus comprising a balloon-holding device, a balloon, and method for conditioning surface of said balloon of claim 15 wherein said method comprises applying a natural latex lubricant in an amount sufficient to lubricate balloon surface of said natural latex elastic balloon to withstand repetitive striking and abrasion of said balloon surface.

19. A sound producing apparatus comprising a balloon-holding device, a balloon, and method for conditioning surface of said balloon to produce a simulated motorcycle motor sound by operation of a bicycle, comprising elements: (a) a natural latex elastic elongated balloon, (b) an arched support handle, (c) a balloon trap mounted thereon, (d) two L-support brackets mounted thereon, (e) two L-support bracket bolts to mount two L-support brackets on said arched support handle, (f) two snap-on clip attachments of two clips mounted on said arched support handle, (g) two snap-on clip attachment bolts to mount said snap-on clip attachments on said arched support handle, (h) nuts and washers to secure elements of said holding device, and (i) a natural latex lubricant to condition surface of said balloon.

20. The apparatus comprising a balloon-holding device, a balloon, and method for conditioning surface of said balloon of claim 19 wherein said balloon trap comprises a trap holder and a roller brake.

21. The apparatus comprising a balloon-holding device, a balloon, and method for conditioning surface of said balloon of claim 19 wherein said roller brake comprises a plastic roller brake.

22. The apparatus comprising a balloon-holding device, a balloon, and method for conditioning surface of said balloon of claim 19 wherein said method comprises applying a natural latex lubricant in an amount sufficient to lubricate balloon surface of said natural latex elastic balloon to withstand repetitive striking and abrasion of said balloon surface.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit for priority purposes of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/622,452 filed Oct. 27, 2004, and entitled “APPARATUS FOR PRODUCING SIMULATED V-TWIN MOTORCYCLE SOUND IN BICYCLES,” which is incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a balloon and balloon-holding device, which is attached to a bicycle to produce a simulated motorcycle engine sound by operation of the bicycle. The attachment of the device to any bicycle and operation of the bicycle wheel against the balloon results in a deep resonant sound and the bicycle sounds like a motorcycle with a V-twin engine.

The motor-like sound is produced by the inflated balloon held in place by a balloon trap against the revolving spokes of the bicycle wheel, wherein contact of each spoke against the inflated trapped balloon produces a resonant sound. The repetition of the resonant boom-like sound produced by the repeated striking of the trapped balloon by the spokes of the bicycle wheel simulates the resonant sound of the exhaust of a motorcycle internal combustion engine. The invention relates to a method for conditioning the balloon for prolonged resistance to abrasion of the balloon and extending the life of the balloon.

The present invention accordingly relates to bicycle accessories which can be attached to a bicycle to enhance the enjoyment of riding on the bicycle by the rider. Bicycle accessories frequently have a utilitarian purpose. The present invention promotes a healthful means of exercise for adults and children.

This invention relates to a bicycle accessory, which can enhance a child's enjoyment of a bicycle. As such, the bicycle accessory is a device which provides a simulated sound of a motor driven vehicle without the danger of a motor driven vehicle. The device enhances the child's enjoyment of the bicycle and allows the child to pretend the bicycle is motor driven, similar to motorcycles driven by adults.

As a child's play object, it is important that the device simulate significantly the sound of a motor driven vehicle, otherwise the child will lose interest in operation of the device.

Another requirement of the device as a child's play object is that the produced sound by its device be sufficiently loud enough to satisfy the child's desire for a motor-like noise. A further requirement of the device as a child's play enhancer is that the device provide varying levels of simulated motorcycle exhaust sound from riding the bicycle slower or faster, just as a motorcycle does. A desirable feature of the device is that the components of its device permit its generated sound to become louder or softer by adjustment of the device. An additional requirement of the device as a bicycle accessory is that the device be easily attached to a bicycle without modification of the bicycle structure and that the attachment of the device not impede operation of the bicycle or compromise the safety of the bicycle.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a novel and enjoyable sound generating device for use with a spoked wheel such as on a bicycle.

Many people, including children, enjoy riding a bicycle and imagining they are riding a motor-driven vehicle. Children enjoy playing “grown-up” and play “grown-up” activities in games and game activities. Children improvise adult activities by attaching objects to their bicycles, which suggest an adult activity such as riding a motorcycle. The problem with many of the objects heretofore attached is that many of the objects used do not realistically simulate closely the adult activity copied. The child copying the adult activity, accordingly, may lose interest quickly.

For example, a playing card or a cardboard card can be attached to the fork of a bicycle by a clothes pin or other means of attachment so that the edge of the playing card or cardboard card engages spokes of the wheel on rotation. The sound of the playing card or cardboard card sequentially engaging the bicycle spokes is typically a series of separate sounds without depth of sound and is an attempt to simulate the sound of a motor. The sound produced by this procedure has the disadvantage of not greatly replicating the resonant sound produced by a motor exhaust pipe.

Therefore, there is a need for a device to provide a faithful reproduction of a motor exhaust sound, which can be provided by a device easily attached to a bicycle which has not been provided to date to the inventor's knowledge.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

U.S. Pat. No. 2,748,532 to Gergovich et al. teaches a simulated motor sound producer, which comprises an inflated balloon, attached to the frame of a bicycle to engage the spokes of the bicycle wheel as the wheel is revolved. The body of the inflated balloon, as held by the forked ears or lugs at the ends of the mounting member, projects slightly into the path of the wheel spokes. Upon being engaged by each spoke, the balloon body is deflected laterally to the side by each spoke. The elasticity of the balloon body causes the balloon to “snap back” due to the tied ends secured to the mounting member. The lateral deflection of the balloon body to one side in a rolling motion produces a “bubbling” type of sound like a partially muffled exhaust of an internal combustion engine. The mounting for the balloon is made as a simple stamping with notched upturned ears or lugs at an angle of about 30° from the plane of the longitudinal body portion of the mounting means or sufficient to permit the knotted ends of the balloon to be engaged. The main body portion of the mounting means is curved with its upper surface convex and the lower surface concave. The device is attached to the frame member in any suitable manner, including by electrical tape having a non-sticky outer surface or by means of rubber bands or other tying means to afford a firm frictional grip on both the mounting means and the frame bar. The balloon is preferably tubular so that the inflated balloon is elongate or ellipsoidal rather than spherical. The balloon is positioned lengthwise of the frame bar and extends laterally into the path of the rotating spokes. With each engagement of each spoke, the balloon is caused to bounce laterally away from the spoke and then snap back, producing a sound in rapid succession. In an embodiment of the invention, an inflated balloon is taught as a motor sound producer wherein the elongated balloon is mounted so that the closed end of the balloon projects axially as a nipple of a flat form. The balloon is mounted so that the nipple is engaged by the wheel spokes, the balloon being held by a circular clamp mounted on a bracket secured to the bicycle frame. The circular clamp 21 has a central portion 26 cut out so that the inflated balloon will bulge outward through the opening 26 and the balloon will not work endwise or axially in clamp 21. Thus the balloon nipple will be held in position to engage the moving spokes because clamp 21 has a firm grip on the balloon body. The motor sound noise is produced by the snapping action of the nipple as it returns to its normal axial position relative to the balloon body. Other embodiments of the device utilize a plastic resonator shell, which encases the inflated elastic body of the balloon wherein the engaged nipple of the elastic body projects through its sidewall of the resonator shell. In one embodiment, the elastic balloon is firmly attached to the resonator shell wall by a pair of flanges to intensify the sound by means of the resonator shell.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,039,338 to Perea et al. teaches and claims a sound-generating device for a spoked wheel such as a bicycle wheel. The device comprising a flange utilizes a clamp 22, which allows attachment of the device to the frame of the bicycle. The clamp 22 is formed by two parts which fit together and are held in place by screws and nuts within recesses in the two parts of the clamp. The two parts of the clamp encompass a slot which has a large portion 48 and a small portion 50. The flange element 54 has an anchor portion 56 and a flap portion 58, which strike the spokes of the bicycle wheel when the wheel is turned. The anchor portion 56 is held within the slot at clamp 22. Each strike of a spoke produces a rapping noise such that when the bicycle wheel turns, successive rapping noises are generated. The flap portion 58 of the flange element is resilient. The device permits use of interchangeable strips as flanges and are durable.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,565,107 to Hartman teaches and claims a device for attachment to a bicycle which includes a flat strap of semi-rigid plastic. The device comprises a strip of semi-rigid plastic, one end of which is bent back upon itself to form a loop of the strap, which allows the strap end to be encircled around a support member of the bicycle, such as a fork. The strap is provided with a number of holes spaced, one group of holes 12-18 being located near one end of the strap spaced at ⅜'s of an inch from each other. A second group of holes 19-20 is located 4% to 5% of an inch from the same end of the strap. The strap is approximately 1/16 of an inch thick, ⅝-⅞ of an inch wide and 8 to 12 inches long. In application, the one end of the strap, with holes 12-18, is placed around the support member of the bicycle such that the strap with the group of holes 19-20 folds over to form an area of double thickness. Holes 19-20 and one of the holes 12-18 of the strap are located so that a fastener comprising a machine screw passes through holes 19-20 in the double thickness area of the strap, holes 19-20 being positioned over one another, and one of the 12-18 holes. Washers and a nut and the machine screw comprise the fastener. Polypropylene has been found to be an excellent material for the strap. In operation, the device is attached to the frame of a bicycle so that the semi-rigid plastic engages the spokes, the semi-rigid strap providing a simulated sound of a motor.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a balloon-holding device which is attached to a bicycle to produce a simulated motorcycle engine sound on operation of the bicycle. The device comprises a balloon and balloon support structure such that the balloon is repetitively struck by rotating spokes of the bicycle wheel wherein the balloon is held in place by a balloon trap to trap the balloon in place and to prevent the balloon from twisting and rolling back from the wheel spokes, whereby the resonant sound produced by striking the balloon results. The balloon trap by pressing the balloon against spokes of the wheel provides a means of regulating the loudness of the sound of the simulated motorcycle engine. The balloon trap permits the operator to make the sound louder and softer by increasing or decreasing the balloon pressure against the spokes.

The invention also relates to a balloon trap for obtaining a resonant effect from an inflated confined balloon. The confined balloon is struck repetitively in a regular sequence by the spokes of a rotating bicycle wheel, thereby producing a series of loud, resonant sounds. The balloon, being held securely in a confined space by the balloon trap, remains in place upon being struck by the spokes of the wheel and the resulting sound has a sonorous resonant quality similar to the sound from the sound box of a musical instrument.

The repetitive blows in regular sequence upon the balloon within the confined space causes the balloon to vibrate in an audible frequency and enhance the loudness of the resulting sound by a resonant effect.

The confined space results from the application of the balloon trap to the balloon. The balloon trap acts to hold the balloon in the confined space and cause the resonant effect.

The invention also relates to a method for prolonging the useful life of a latex rubber balloon as an active component held by the balloon-holding device. The invented method causes the balloon to withstand to a great degree the striking and abrasion caused by continued striking of the balloon by spokes of a rotating bicycle wheel. The method comprises application of a material lubricant and conditioner from other than a hydrocarbon source. The method comprises wiping, spraying or coating the balloon in placement upon the bicycle with a solution of a material lubricant/conditioner comprising glycerol and water or a commercially available lubricant prior to use of the balloon to provide the motorcycle sound. Lubricant/conditioners for application to latex rubber balloons are available commercially.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of a first embodiment of the invention wherein the mounting C-clamps are hidden from view. FIG. 1 shows two views of the sounding balloon, one view of the inflated sounding balloon in dash lines, the other view in solid lines of the attached balloon, which shows method of attachment of the balloon to the balloon-holding device.

FIG. 2 is a side perspective limited view of the arched handle secured to the mounting C-clamps at each end of the arched handle and the L-shaped support bracket and connecting bolts.

FIG. 3 is a side-perspective limited view of the arched handle, the mounting C-clamps and the balloon trap positioned at each end of the arched handle.

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the components of the invention in order of assembly of a first embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows a perspective side view of a first embodiment whereby the balloon twisted ends are secured by connecting bolts 13a and 13b. The balloon trap 20 is secured to the arched support handle 10 by connecting bolts 13a and 13b. The L-support brackets 11a and 11b are not shown as in FIG. 4, but L-support brackets 11a and 11b are secured to the arched support handle 10 by connecting bolts 13a and 13b.

FIG. 1 also shows the components of balloon trap 20, which comprises trap holder rod 21 and roller brake 22 supported on trap holder rod 21.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective side limited view of attached components of arched support handle 10 with attachment C-clamps 12a and 12b, L-support brackets 11a and 11b, and connecting bolts 14a and 14b, 13a and 13b.

FIG. 3 shows a perspective side limited view of attached components of arched support handle 10 with mounting C-clamps 12a and 12b and balloon trap 20 at both ends of arched support handle 10.

FIG. 4 illustrates the components of the invention. As shown, the elastic body of the balloon is elongated and inflated. The balloon is preferably of tubular shape wherein each end can be knotted. The knotted ends are engaged by connecting bolts 13a and 13b.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, the inflated balloon 30 is stretched between the ends of the arched support handle. The balloon trap 20, when the balloon is fully inflated, prevents the balloon from twisting, turning and diminishing the resonant cavity of the balloon, which provides the cavity for the balloon's resonant effect. The balloon, in operation mode, is sufficiently inflated to be in full balloon body contact with the balloon trap.

In operation, as the balloon is sufficiently inflated, the body of the inflated balloon is trapped in position by the balloon trap and in contact with the spokes of the rotating bicycle wheel. The body of the inflated trapped balloon is struck by the rotating spokes and caused to rebound by the elastic structure of the balloon. The rebounding of the trapped balloon body is limited in amplitude by the balloon trap. The balloon body vibrates at an audible frequency and produces a series of loud, resonant sounds.

The amplitude of the rebounding and frequency of the rebounding of the balloon body is intensified by stressful positioning of the balloon trap on the longitudinal side of the balloon. The physical positioning of the balloon trap alongside the longitudinal side of the balloon provides a balloon body comprising a fixed closed container which vibrates to provide sound waves and succeeding respective vibrations provide sound waves to unite with preceding sound waves to increase the resulting resonant sound.

The physical positioning of the balloon trap alongside the engaged elongated balloon causes the trapped balloon to act as its own sound box similar to the sound box of a musical instrument. The resulting sound box increases the sonority of the resulting sound, and increases the bicycle rider's enjoyment of use of the device.

As shown in FIGS. 1-4, the arched support handle 10 is arched to fit around the inflated balloon 30. The arched support handle 10 can be replaced with an arched straight bracket with notches at each end to engage twisted ends of the balloon. The C-clamps can be spring loaded or replaced in an alternative embodiment with other suitable means of attachment to the frame of a bicycle including other forms of clamp mechanisms or attachment means readily available.

The balloon trap comprises a roller brake consisting of a plastic tube with a polished surface and adequate “slip” against the surface of the latex rubber balloon. “Slip” is defined as a property comprising the non-binding characteristic of a material placed in engaging contact with another material. The roller brake of the balloon trap engages the surface of the inflated balloon and keeps the balloon in place. The positioning of the balloon against the rotating spokes of the bicycle wheel is determined by the pressure of the roller brake of the balloon trap against the balloon.

Since the rotating contact of the wheel spokes against the balloon causes the balloon to vibrate against the roller brake, it is essential that the surface of the plastic tube comprising the roller brake does not develop any adherence means between the roller brake and the balloon surface. The continuing repetitive contact between the two surfaces, the one surface of the balloon, and the second surface of the roller brake requires that the material surface of the roller brake be smooth and have a low coefficient of sliding friction when the two surfaces are pressed together.

Materials suitable for the plastic tube comprising the roller brake can be selected from polypropylene, polystyrene, polyethylene, nylon, other plastics, and composites thereof. It is essential that the contact surface of the roller brake be free of any minute projections on the surface that would enhance sliding friction.

The trap holder 21 of the balloon trap consists of a metal support in the form of a U-shape with two up-ended ends as in FIG. 4. The metal support can comprise a single metal rod shaped as described or the metal support can comprise two metal rods, each in the form of an L-shaped rod with a single up-turned end. The two metal L-shaped rod ends upon insertion within the tube of the roller brake would serve the function of the single metal rod as described.

Materials suitable for the roller brake of the balloon trap are plastic materials having a low coefficient of friction and excellent abrasion resistance. Materials having excellent surface abrasion resistance and low coefficient of friction include nylon, acrylics, and other plastic polymers including composites. It is essential that the contact surface of the roller brake be free of any minute projections on the surface that would enhance friction and abrasion of the balloon surface. The embodied roller brake is in the form of a plastic tube of ⅜ths inch diameter, of 1/16th inch wall thickness, 3½-3¾ inches long, with a smooth plastic outer surface and inner surface free of any restrictions upon the trap holder carriage structure rod held within the roller brake tube.

The trap holder carriage 21 is inserted into the plastic tube comprising the roller brake 22. The trap holder carriage 21 comprises a metal support rod in the form of a U-shape design with two up-turned ends toward the roller brake tube as in FIG. 4. The two up-turned ends form coupling means for attachment to the arched support handle 10 at each end of the support handle 10. The metal support rod can be of ductile composition to allow the user to position the balloon trap device in proximity to the bicycle wheel to control the resulting sound of the trapped balloon.

Coupled at each end of the arched support handle 10 are two L-shaped support brackets 11a and 11b. Support brackets 11a and 11b mount balloon bolts 13a and 13b. Balloon bolts 13a and 13b engage the elongated ends 31a and 31b of balloon 30. Elongated ends 31a and 31b of balloon 30 are snapped onto or over the ends of balloon bolts 13a and 13b to secure balloon 30 to the balloon-holding device.

Coupled at each end of the arched support handle 10 are two C-clamps 12a and 12b secured to support handle 10 by connecting bolts 14a and 14b. The C-clamps are spring actuated or can be fastened to the bicycle frame by a bolt and wing nut combination.

The balloon-holding device can be attached to the bicycle frame in any suitable manner, including taping by means of any fastening tape, such as wrapping tape, which can be wrapped around the bicycle-supporting member to allow a firm grip on the bicycle frame by the attachment means of the balloon-holding device.

In operation, the mounting of the C-clamps upon the bicycle frame can be further secured by application of adhesive tape at the area of attachment to the frame to reduce slippage of the C-clamps.

In an alternative embodiment, the balloon holding device can be attached to the bicycle frame by an attaching means comprising two clamping mechanisms including clip attachments. One such alternative embodiment comprises attaching means comprising two clamping mechanisms of snap-on clip attachments comprising two elastomer-loaded plastic or metal clips sized to be pressed onto the bicycle forks to secure the balloon holding device to the bicycle frame. The clamping mechanisms of two snap-on clip attachments comprising two snap-on clips are mounted on the arched support handle by two snap-on clip attachment bolts.

Selection of material thickness of the elastic balloon can affect the resulting sound. As the thickness of the balloon material increases, it has been found that the loudness of the produced sound diminishes. It has been found that the heavier balloons need to be applied with more pressure against the spokes of its rotating wheel to produce a loud sound.

Elastic balloons typically are formed of natural rubber to provide the highly elastic property desired in a balloon. However, the bonds of the molecular structure of natural rubber, which results in the highly elastic property desired in a balloon can break. The resulting breakage and leakage of the balloon can be caused by the striking and abrasion of the balloon's longitudinal side surface by the rotating spokes of the bicycle wheel.

Application of a solution of a natural lubricant, from a source other than from a hydrocarbon source, which tends to affect natural latex products, comprises a method for prolonging the useful life of a natural rubber balloon. The application of the natural lubricant in a sufficient amount prolongs the useful life of the natural rubber balloon by conditioning the balloon material to withstand the repetitive striking and abrasion of the balloon surface by the rotating spokes of the bicycle wheel.

The solution of natural lubricant applied to the surface of the inflated balloon is in the form of an abrasion-resisting film. The applied film of natural lubricant is characterized by being applied to the surface of the inflated balloon by means of a wiping cloth containing a wiping solution content or by spraying and other coating means.

A plurality of natural rubber lubricants is available from sources other than hydrocarbon sources. This plurality includes glycerol and a number of commercially available compounds specifically formulated to provide lubricant properties to natural rubber articles.

A preferred method of application includes wiping the surface of the inflated balloon by means of a wiping cloth containing a wiping cloth solution.

A solution of glycerol, 50% by volume, in water, has been found by test to substantially prolong the useful life of the natural rubber balloon. The method of application requires wiping or spraying the glycerol:water solution upon the balloon mounted in position upon connecting bolts 13a and 13b. The glycerol:water solution can be applied as a surface film by wiping the surface of the balloon. The applied film of glycerol:water is sufficient if applied as a thin film presence which lubricates the surface of the balloon and reduces the abrasive effect. Excessive application of the glycerol:water lubricant can reduce the sound of the trapped balloon.

The instant invention accordingly comprises a simulated engine sound producer balloon-holding device for attachment to a bicycle in close proximity to the spokes of a rotating wheel of the bicycle, preferably the front wheel of the bicycle. The engine sound producer balloon-holding device is suitably positioned upon the structural member of the bicycle wheel fork comprising a wheel support arm wherein a spoked wheel is mounted thereon for rotation in a plane parallel therewith. The simulated engine sound producer balloon-holder device comprising an inflated trapped balloon, a balloon trap in engaged contact with said inflated balloon, an arched support handle and attachment means in combination with the rotating spokes of the rotating spoked bicycle wheel produces the resonant sound of the exhaust of a motorcycle internal combustion engine.

The balloon trap comprises a roller brake consisting of a plastic tube with a polished surface mounted on the balloon trap holder carriage. The roller brake of the balloon trap is in engaged contact with the surface of the inflated balloon and contains the balloon in the confined space of the balloon-holding device, restrains the balloon from twisting in place and turning back from spokes of the bicycle wheel to control the loudness of sound produced by the balloon upon engagement of the balloon with spokes of the rotating bicycle wheel.

The balloon is a natural latex highly elastic rubber balloon of skin thickness sufficient to cause the balloon to rebound on being struck by rotating spokes of a bicycle wheel.

The arched support handle is arched to maintain freedom from contact with the inflated balloon to permit the balloon trap to be the primary containing element of the balloon-holding device. The balloon trap accordingly is the primary control element to control the loudness of sound produced by said balloon upon engagement with spokes of the rotating wheel.

The instant invention comprises a method for prolonging the useful life of a natural rubber balloon in a simulated engine balloon holder sound producer comprising the steps of:

    • (a) providing an inflated natural rubber balloon to be processed,
    • (b) providing a plurality of natural rubber lubricants from sources other than hydrocarbon sources,
    • (c) subjecting said inflated balloon to processing of the natural rubber surface of said inflated balloon wherein at least one natural rubber lubricant of said plurality of natural rubber lubricants is applied to the surface of said inflated balloon in an abrasion-resisting film application of the abrasion-resisting film to the surface of the natural rubber balloon wherein said application is characterized by being applied by means of a wiping cloth containing a wiping solution content.

The plurality of natural rubber lubricants from sources other than hydrocarbon sources comprise glycerol and commercially available natural rubber lubricants specifically formulated to provide lubricant properties to natural rubber articles.





 
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