Title:
Unitary quad roller skate
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A quad roller skate for use on outdoor surfaces that has a unified structure that includes a quad boot permanently secured to a horizontal support plate and skate forward and rearward trucks permanently secured to the support plate. The front and rear left and right skates lie in left and right vertical planes spaced from the maximum side edges of the boot. The skate wheels have apexes that extend to a horizontal plane at least as high as the plane of the horizontal support plate and can extend higher. Each of the wheels preferably are thin width wheels and have semi-circular profiles.



Inventors:
Cole, Lee (San Francisco, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/381981
Publication Date:
07/23/2009
Filing Date:
03/18/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C17/22
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
EVANS, BRYAN A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEE COLE (SAN FRANCISCO, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A unified quad roller skate for use on outdoor surfaces, including, a quad skate boot having a boot bottom and a boot forward area and a boot rearward area, a horizontal support plate positioned under said boot bottom between said boot forward area and said boot rearward area, said boot bottom being permanently secured to said support plate, a forward truck positioned under and permanently secured to said support plate, a rearward truck positioned under and permanently secured to said support plate, a front axle mounted through said front truck and a rear axle mounted through said rear truck, a pair of left and right front wheels mounted to said front axle and a pair of left and right rear wheels mounted to said rear axle, said boot bottom defining a boot bottom maximum left side edge positioned in a boot left vertical plane located between said boot forward area and said boot rearward area, said boot bottom further defining a boot bottom maximum right side edge positioned in a boot right vertical plane located between said boot forward area and said boot rearward area, said left front wheel and said left rear wheel being positioned in a left wheel inner vertical plane, said right front wheel and said right rear wheel being positioned in a right wheel inner vertical plane, each of said left and right wheel inner vertical planes being spaced from said left and right boot maximum left and right side edges, respectively, each of said front wheels and each of said rear wheels having a wheel apex at least as high as said horizontal support plate.

2. The unified quad roller skate in accordance with claim 1, wherein said boot bottom includes a boot sole extending between said boot forward area and said boot rearward area.

3. The unified quad roller skate in accordance with claim 2, wherein said boot bottom further includes a heel secured to said boot sole at said rearward area, said heel and said boot bottom forward area being positioned in a horizontal plane.

4. The unified quad roller skate in accordance with claim 1, wherein said support plate is permanently secured to said boot bottom by rivets.

5. The unified quad roller skate in accordance with claim 1, wherein said forward truck is permanently secured to said support plate by bolting, said bolting including at least one bolt and nut assembly, said nut being permanently connected to said bolt.

6. The unified quad roller skate in accordance with claim 1, wherein said rearward truck is permanently secured to said support plate by bolting, said bolting including at least one bolt and nut assembly, said nut being permanently connected to said bolt.

7. The unified quad roller skate in accordance with claim 1, wherein each of said front wheels and each of said rear wheels includes a wheel apex at least as high as the plane of said horizontal support plate.

8. The unified quad roller skate in accordance with claim 1, wherein each of said front wheels and each of said rear wheels are thin-width wheels in the range of 24 to 25 millimeters.

9. The unified quad roller skate is accordance with claim 8, wherein each of said front wheels and each of said rear wheels has the profile of a semicircle.

10. The unified quad roller skate in accordance with claim 2, wherein boot sole is thick and rigid.

11. The unified quad roller skate in accordance with claim 10, wherein said sole includes a toe area, said sole including said toe area being flat.

Description:

The present application is a continuation-in-part (CIP) application of application Ser. No. 11/492,310 filed on Jul. 25, 2008

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to the field of roller skates and in particular to a unitary four-wheel roller skate known as a quad roller skate directed to outdoor use.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention sets forth a unified roller skate with four wheels, or rollers, for use on outdoor surfaces. The unified skate structure includes a horizontal support plate permanently secured to the bottom of the quad skate boot and skate forward and rearward trucks permanently secured to the support plate. The four skate wheels are positioned in vertical planes outside the maximum bottom edges of the boot. The skate wheels also are positioned in vertical planes that have apexes that extend to a horizontal plane at least as high as the horizontal plane of the support plate and can extend higher than such plane.

Quad roller skates were typically called “roller skates” for about a century until “inline skates” came into use in recent years. The term “quad skate” will be used herein for the four-wheel roller skate that is the subject of the present invention, although the term “quad” is a popular term of reference.

A quad skate has four wheels that spin on front and rear axles mounted through bored-through aluminum cast trucks. The truck is differentiated from the axle. The axle is inserted thru the center of the truck casting. Trucks are independently pivoting assemblies that connect the wheels to the underside of the plate, or chassis, which is riveted or bolted to the bottom of the skate boot. A truck is also known as a hanger. The wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear wheels measured between the two sets of innermost truck holes for the bolts that connect the trucks to the plate.

Each quad wheel of the present state of the art has a relatively small diameter and is wide in width with a wide, flat rim. The rim is outside surface of the tire which contacts the ground, which provides grip and stability for the wheel as it contacts a hard surface, the force of which contact is generally transmitted to the bottom of the boot and to the foot of the skater.

In the art of roller skates, the configuration of the rim outer surface of the wheel is known as the profile. The profile of a wheel can also be defined as the cross-section of the wheel where it meets the ground when viewed head on. The profile determines how much of the wheel is in contact with the surface at any given time. In this application, the terms “profile” and “rim outer surface” will be used interchangeably. The profile of quad roller skates as known in the art today is flat.

Some brief comments relating to the trucks of quad roller skates are as follows. Double action trucks were invented by James Plimpton in 1863. Almost all quad roller skate trucks employ double action trucks. Such a truck incorporates a suspension cushion that that is operative both above and below the truck casting. The truck turns on a pivot point. As a result, a skater can turn his foot inside the boot. The boot and plate together act as a unit to turn the trucks, which in turn pivot on two pivot cushions, one for the front truck and one for the rear truck. Thus a quad roller skater can turn and the profile of all eight wheels (the wheels of both skates combined) remain in contact with the ground. In summary, double action trucks pivot and thus all wheels wear on their profiles, which as mentioned above, are flat.

The wheels of each quad roller skate of the present state of the art are traditionally positioned under the skate boot. The apex of each roller wheel is spaced below the horizontal plane of the sole of the boot and the heel of the boot by about 20 millimeters to prevent “wheel bite.” When a skater turns, the edge of a front wheel can catch against the bottom of the boot if the wheel exceeds a certain height. The apex of each wheel is also spaced below the mounting plate of the skate.

Quad skates today are generally limited for use in indoor skating, particularly in competitions in artistic areas such as figure and dance skating where skating surfaces are smooth and free of irregularities.

Quad skates have not been known for use on outdoor flat surfaces such as paved streets, parkways, bikeways, bike paths and boardwalks, which often have irregularities that the wide, flat rims of quad skates encounter with some frequency with the result that smooth skating cannot be achieved. Also, the small diameters of typical quad skates, in the range of 60 to 70 millimeters, are not conducive to speed, since in general small diameter wheels limit speed.

Inline skates, which have a wheel diameter in the range of 70 to 100+ millimeters, provide a greater capability for speed and are generally used outdoors. Inline skate wheels have been proven by use to have the capability to negotiate the irregularities of outdoor surfaces with efficiency. Also, the inline configuration of the inline wheels reduce contact with irregularities as compared to quad skates. Also, inline skate wheels are relatively thin in the range of 24 to 25 millimeters so as to reduce both the weight factor and the drag factor since greater width creates greater drag. Inline roller skates as known in the art today generally are curved and commonly have a profile of a semicircle.

It is noted that the structural dynamics of quad skates and the structural dynamics of inline skates are fundamentally different. This is apparent in that a single quad skate stands alone and can be rolled by itself, but a single inline skate cannot stand alone or be rolled by itself but requires the skater to stand in both left and right skates at the same time. This difference should be kept in mind when comparing quad skates with inline skates.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide quad skates that are able to be used with ease and efficiency on flat outdoor flat surfaces, typically paved roadways, parkways, streets, bike paths and boardwalks and on paved ascents and descents.

It is another object of the present invention to provide quad skates that are in some respects superior in maneuverability and stability as compared to inline skates when used on outdoor paved surfaces, either flat or varying in steepness.

It is another object of the present invention to provide quad skates that are able to negotiate certain types of irregularities of outdoor flat surfaces, such as lateral cracks in the surfaces, with greater facility than inline skates.

In is another object of the present invention to provide quad skates that have excellent balance capability on outdoor flat surfaces.

It is another object of the present invention to provide quad skates that have superior speed capability on outdoor flat surfaces with the understanding that this comment relates to the fact that less effort is required to attain a desired speed. This object relates to prior art outdoor quad skates.

In accordance with these and other objects that will become apparent, there is provided a quad skate that has the capability of being used with ease and efficiency on outdoor flat surfaces such as parkways, streets, bike paths, and boardwalks and even paved roads.

In further accordance with these and other objects, there is provided a unified quad skate that is rugged and durable even when used on nominally flat surfaces that by the nature of outdoor areas are rough and irregular in some places.

In order to achieve this overall goal of providing quad skates capable of being used with ease and efficiency on outdoor flat surfaces, quad skates must be improved over the present quad skate capability basically in four areas, as follows:

1. Improved speed. The speed capability of quad skates as now known in the art should be significantly improved to the level that they can be used as an acceptable alternative to inline skates on outdoor flat surfaces.

2. Improved overall balance. The short axles of present quad skates as now known in the art must be improved so that side to side movement on outdoor flat surfaces be stabilized when irregularities in flat surfaces are encountered. The quad wheels spin on the standardized short-axles as now known in the present state of the art.

3. Improved ability to overcome road irregularities. The wide-width, flat profiles of the wheels of quad skates now known in the art must be improved so that bumps and holes on outdoor paved areas do not continuously interfere with such wheels.

4. Improved weight factor. Quad skates now known in the art are relatively wide, or thick, and thus are relatively heavy, which can affect both maneuverability and speed.

5. A fifth area of desired improvement for quad skates for use in outdoor environments is that of long term durability wherein the four wheels, or rollers, of a quad skate will by elementary law of chance encounter in the range of twice as many irregularities as the two wheels of a single inline skate thus producing double the accumulated amount of shock to each skate. This shock is increased by the present generally wide profile of the wheels of a typical quad skate presently being used.

It is noted in particular that the overall goal of providing quad skates with the ability to compete with in some respects and otherwise be advantageous in overall performance relative to inline skates on outdoor paved areas must be achieved by having a combined improvement in all four of the named areas and also the fifth above named area.

A single improvement of even more than one improvement will not accomplish the goal of providing quad skates to be efficiently and easily used on outdoor flat surfaces.

These goals are met by the present invention as follows:

1. Improved speed is accomplished by providing large diameter quad wheels, which as is known in the laws of mechanics generally increases performance of overall speed. Each wheel of the present invention would have a wheel apex that would be greater than the apex of the roller wheels that it is possible to be used in the present state of the art. The apex of the wheels of a quad wheel in the present state of the art is limited by the horizontal plane of the bottom of the boot. The roller wheels of the present invention, as will be elucidated below, are positioned outside the opposed sides of the boot as defined by the sole and heel of the boot. The wheels of the quad skate of the present state of the art are positioned under and so are limited to be less than the plane of the sole and heel of the boot. Thus, the wheel of the present invention is such that its apex can now be at least as high as the bottom of the boot of the prior art. The diameter of the apex of the roller wheel of the quad skate of the present state of the art as just mentioned is limited to be less than the bottom of the skate boot, a height generally in the range of 100 millimeters. In fact, however, the apex of the wheel of the present state of the art of quad wheels as before noted is in fact is limited to a 60 to 70 millimeter range to provide clearance between the bottom of the boot and the apex of the wheel because of needed spacing, or clearance, of about 30 to 40 millimeters between the apex of the wheel and the bottom of the boot to prevent wheel bite. A wheel diameter for the present inventive wheel can now far exceed the actual 60 to 70 millimeter wheel diameter of present quad wheels and so can be in the range of 100 millimeters and even higher to a higher range of 135 millimeters or even to 150 millimeters or greater. As a design matter, the size of the diameter of the roller wheel of the present invention is limited by the horizontal transverse space needed to separate the front and rear wheels. Therefore, skaters who wear larger boots such as size 15 or greater can accommodate wheels greater than 150 millimeters. The diameter of the wheel is only limited in theory by the distance between the front and rear axle. Since the front axle of both the present inventive quad skate and the traditional quad skate is always under the ball of the foot and the rear axle always under the heel, skaters with larger feet can have larger wheels.

2. Improved overall balance is provided by quad wheels with wide axles that are laterally positioned beyond the sides of the boot thus increasing the transverse distance between each of the front wheels and each of the rear wheels of each skate. In accordance with the laws of mechanics, wheels mounted on wide axles in turn mounted on wide trucks provide greater ability to maintain balance than wheels with short axles on short trucks, especially at slower speeds. It is noted that the width of the truck casting usually determines where the wheel sits, not the length of the axle. The truck of the present invention usually extends beyond the sides of the boot of quad skate. On the other hand, it is known in the art that a narrow truck casting can be bored with a long axle, wherein the truck of the present invention can in fact be positioned under the boot of the inventive quad skate with the axle extending beyond the sides of the boot.

3. Improved ability to overcome surface irregularities is provided by providing the present inventive quad roller skate with thin-width wheels with a 24 millimeter to 25 millimeter thickness known in the art of wheels for inline skates and for inline push scooters. The thin width quad wheels of the present invention are provided with semicircular rim outer surfaces, or profiles, in place of the wide-width, flat profiles, of the generally 34 to 50 millimeter width quad wheels of the current state of the art.

Such thin-width quad wheels are in an inherently stable tracking line, so that ridges and cracks in the pavement lateral to the direction of movement of the wheel are more easily overcome. Such thin-width quad wheels additionally provided with semicircular profiles are especially superior to the wide, flat profile of the quad skate of the present state of the art.

Inline wheels have a radial and convex profile whereas traditional quad wheels have a flat profile. The footprint of a wheel is the portion of the surface profile that makes contact with the ground. An inline wheel that is 24 millimeters wide may have a footprint of only 12 millimeters wide due to its radial convex profile. A traditional quad wheel will have a footprint of 36 millimeters wide as a result of its flat profile. All points of the traditional flat-profiled quad wheel make contact with the ground simultaneously

4. Improved weight factor is met by providing thin roller wheels made of lightweight material such as polyurethane for the wheel tire and a lightweight metal such as aluminum or a durable plastic for other areas such as the hub. Spokes are also provided between the tire and the hub to reduce weight. The thin-width wheels of the present invention are in the range of 24 to 25 millimeters. The interior of the wheel, hub and spokes, is created from a single mold

5. Durability of the inventive outdoor quad skate being described herein is significantly increased by the quad skate being unified in structure wherein shock stresses are not concentrated in certain areas but are distributed throughout the skate. To achieve this object, it is necessary that bolt connector 32A between the forward truck and the support plate be permanent; and likewise bolt connector 32B between the rearward truck and the support plate be permanent. Furthermore, it is necessary that both rivet connectors 33 between the forward truck and the support plate be permanent; and both rivet connectors 33 between the rearward truck and the support plate be permanent. The permanence of these connectors creates a unitary quad skate able to withstand repeated shocks and prevent distortion of the skate. In addition, the skate boot is made of a durable stiff material known in the art of roller skates with the bottom of the boot being made of a durable stiff material capable of being permanently secured to the plate by connectors such as bolts that are locked in position and cannot be unscrewed or rivets that are known in the art as not being removable.

In summary, the combined five-way improvement for quad wheels as outlined above provides an inventive quad skate that is not only usable on a great variety of outdoor paved flat surfaces but is even superior in many aspects to inline skates, for example, in quick turns.

Furthermore, thin-width wheels having a semicircular profile in accordance with the present invention are in contact with the skating surface during rotation of the wheel in such a manner that the skating surface is in tangential bearing contact with a single radial contact point at the wheel profile at all times. In addition, in an analogous manner, when a thin-width wheel of the quad skate of the present invention is tilted, as can happen during a typical skating turn or cornering, or more commonly when the opposite wheel strikes an irregularity in the outdoor surface, the striking surface of the wheel profile, continues to be in tangential bearing contact with skating surface. This result is in reinforcement of the stability provided by the double action trucks known in the art of quad roller skates as previously described. Thus, the forces applied to the outer surfaces of the four thin-width wheels of the present inventive quad skate with the semicircular profile are always directed in a radial line of force to the same radial center that is positioned at the same distance from the strike surface of the rim profile. With the line of force being so directed, the skater can make turns and overcome irregularities with confidence and ease. Thus, the thin-width wheel combined with the semicircular profile increases the ability to overcome common irregularities in outdoor surfaces. These advantages are not present in the wide wheel with the flat profile of quad wheels presently known in the art.

The basic combined features of the present invention can be summarized as follows: a unified quad roller skate for use on outdoor surfaces that has a unified structure that includes a horizontal support plate permanently secured to the bottom of the skate boot and skate forward and rearward trucks permanently secured to the support plate. The four skate wheels have inner vertical planes that are spaced from or outside the maximum edges of the boot. The skate wheels have apexes that extend to a horizontal plane at least as high as the plane of the horizontal support plate and can extend higher. It is preferable that the wheels are thin in the range of 24 millimeter to 25 millimeter thickness with semi-circular profiles.

It is noted parenthetically that actual use of the improved quad skates described herein on outdoor flat surfaces has shown that they continue to retain many of the maneuverable characteristics of quad skates relating to indoor artistic figure and dance skating, including quick turning ability.

The present application also sets forth discussions of how the present invention is distinguishable from two prior art references as follows:

A) German patent DE3031386A! entitled “Long Travel Roller Skate” issued to von Seld on Aug. 20, 1980.

B) U.S. Pat. No. 2,664,294, entitled “Rink Roller Skate With Quickly Exchangeable Trucks”, issued to Kleinman on Dec. 29, 1953.

Detailed discussions of how the features of the present quad skate is distinguished from these two above-named prior art references will be set forth later in conjunction with the description of such features.

Also, U.S. Pat. No. 3,953,041 issued to Buss on Apr. 27, 1976, discloses a quad skate having 1) large diameter wheels that are positioned spaced from the sides of the skate boot; 2) long axles that extend beyond the sides of the skate boot; and 3) rims that are positioned above the heel-and-sole horizontal plane of the boot. Buss, however, shows the quad wheels as being thick, or wide, and also having the usual flat profile of traditional quad skates. The wide Buss wheels with their flat profiles when used outdoors will create instability as a result of the shocks from encountering the many irregularities of outdoor flat surfaces. As a practical matter, the wide flat profiles of the wheels of the Buss quad skate would be usable only on the smoothly finished surfaces of indoor rinks where no irregularities are encountered, which is consistent with the usual environment for usage of traditional quad skates in the past.

A French company, Hawaii Surf, Hawaii Surf 69 av. D. Casanova-94200-Ivry sur Seine—France, has recently been advertising on the Internet a combination support plate, internal plate, truck and wheel assembly that is designed to be mounted on athletic shoes only. The assembly is being marketed on the Internet at least since Jun. 7, 2005, under the trade name “Wide Boy”. The Wide Boy assembly is not a complete roller skate. It is being sold to buyers to construct a non-traditional quad roller skate. The Wide Boy assembly includes thin quad wheels having a 100 millimeter diameter with a semicircular profile and a durometer factor of 83 A mounted to front and rear axles positioned in front and rear trucks attached to the support plate by a forward mounting bolt and a rearward support bolt. The Internet site shows two illustrations of the described assembly one of which clearly shows a separate thin metal plate that is removable and bolted to the support plate. Instructions for making a full Wide Boy quad skate are not posted on the Internet site. Nonetheless, an illustration on the web site for the Wide Boy shows an athletic shoe, clearly seen to be a Nike™ athletic shoe by its trade dress marking, mounted atop the Wide Boy assembly.

The purpose of the Wide Boy assembly is clear to one experienced in the art of roller skates. The thin metal plate shown in Wide Boy is to be unbolted from its temporary attachment to the support plate at the mentioned forward mounting bolt and rearward mounting bolt. The insole of the athletic shoe is then removed. Then two holes are drilled by the buyer of the Wide Boy through the sole of the Nike athletic shoe, or any other suitable athletic shoe. After the two holes are drilled through the sole, the thin plate is then placed into the shoe as a thin internal plate so that in effect the sole of the athletic shoe is sandwiched between the thin internal plate and the substantial external plate. Then the two mounting bolts are placed in the two holes of the sole of the athletic shoe and threaded into the internal threads of the bolt holes of the thin internal plate. The insole is then inserted into the shoe over the thin internal plate. It is noted that the entire truck and wheel assembly when fully assembled is attached to the external plate. The two-bolt mounting attachment is traditional in and based upon inline skate structure.

Athletic shoes have relatively soft and flexible soles since athletic shoes are designed for walking and running. The thin internal plate is required to stiffen and stabilize the sole of the athletic shoe for the greater shocks of roller-skating. The thin internal plate in the athletic shoe prevents the torque pressure of normal roller skate movements from tearing the external plate from the sole of the athletic shoe. The Wide Boy skate is not provided with a toe stop assembly for the reason that the invention is directed to talented skaters and did not envision one being necessary and therefore did not incorporate a place for one in the Wide Boy design. The use of a thin internal plate to stabilize lateral movement is well-known in the art of inline roller skates. The single hole sole mount and single hole heel mount cannot hold the support plate squarely on the sole and heel of any athletic shoe without the internal plate. Thus, the Wide Boy has combined elements of a traditional inline skate with a quad skate.

It is parenthetically noted that authentic, or traditional, quad skate boots as known in the art of roller skates have relatively rigid, or stiff, thick soles known in the tradition of the dress shoe industry. Bending is not required at the ball of the foot while skating for the reason that the stiff, thick sole of the skate boot is attached to the substantial and rigid external plate. The present inventive quad skate uses a traditional roller skate boot with a stiff, thick sole. The soles of traditional roller skate boots are sturdy and so are able to resist the torque forces created while skating and need no internal plate to resist such forces. At least four mounting rivets, or mounting bolts as the case may be, which are relatively thin, preferably being about 9/32 inch in diameter, are used to mount the traditional quad boot to the support plate of the traditional quad skate. On the other hand, the views shown of the Wide Boy assembly show only two bolts to secure the external plate to the thin internal plate within the athletic shoe.

Dress shoe construction mentioned previously herein is the same as quad roller skate boot construction as previously described, which is the basis of the boot used in the roller skating industry, basically differs from the shoe of the athletic shoe industry. Rigid roller skate plates work best with a hard, or stiff, leather, or leather-like, soles. The traditional mounting pattern of the sole of the standard, or traditional, skating boot to the mounting plate uses a stable four-hole mounting pattern as follows: 2 mounting holes in the sole at the front axle and 2 mounting holes in the heel at the rear axle, both sets of holes being for receiving rivets or bolts of the mounting plate as the case may be. Some mounting plates at times include more than 4 rivets, or bolts, requiring additional mounting holes in the soles, but the basic 2 front and 2 rear mounting hole pattern in the sole and heel of the boot is standard. Connectors can be either rivets or bolts as will be described more in detail later.

A slight difference exists between what the typical dress shoe construction described above from what is sometimes referred to in the field of roller skates as a dress shoe, which in fact is specially constructed and manufactured for the quad skate herein described. This slight difference is seen in FIG. 2 as follows. The bottom forward or toe area of the sole of shoe 12 is basically flat as is the sole of the rest of shoe 12. The forward portion or toe area of the sole of what at times is labeled a dress shoe is often a walking shoe and is curved slightly upwards. Thus, the flat forward portion of the sole of a quad skate shoe is constructed so as to fit along the entire flat top surface of horizontal support plate 28. Thus the forward area of sole 18 is constructed slightly differently than the sole of a typical walking shoe.

The term “dress shoe” as used herein is interchangeable with the term “boot” or “skate boot” or “quad boot”, or “shoe” or “skate shoe” or “quad skate shoe”, except that the term “boot” is often used when the top edge of the boot at the ankle is located higher than the top edge of a standard walking shoe. For purposes of clarity, the term “quad boot” will be used herein whatever the height of the top edge of the shoe or boot.

The standard roller skate boot, such as, for example, the Sure-Grip Carrera, which is designed by Riedell Skates of Redwing, Minn. and manufactured in China, appears somewhat like an athletic shoe but in fact is merely disguised as such for marketing purposes only and in fact is based upon the traditional dress shoe, that is to say, the traditional skate boot. The present invention uses the standard roller skate boot with a stiff, thick sole.

The present invention will be better understood and the objects and important features, other than those specifically set forth above, will become apparent when consideration is given to the following details and description, which when taken in conjunction with the annexed drawings, describes, illustrates, and shows preferred embodiments or modifications of the present invention and what is presently considered and believed to be the best mode of practice in the principles thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the right quad roller skate of a pair of quad roller skates in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the quad skate shown in FIG. 1 with the apex of the front and rear wheels being vertically aligned with the generally horizontal plane of the bottom of the heel-sole of the skate boot.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the quad skate shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 with the apex of the front and rear wheels being positioned above the generally horizontal place of the bottom of the heel-sole of the skate boot;

FIG. 4 is a rear view of the quad skate shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a bottom view of the quad skate shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view showing the tangential contact point between the flat skating surface and the semicircular surface of the rim of the wheel of the quad skate when the wheel is in a vertical mode relative to an outdoor flat surface; and

FIG. 6A is a fragmentary sectional view showing the tangential contact point between the flat skating surface and the semicircular surface of the rim of the wheel of the quad skate when the wheel is in an angled or tilted mode relative to the flat surface.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Reference is now made to the drawings in which identical or similar parts are designated by the same reference numerals throughout.

An exemplary right quad shoe 10 of a pair of quad shoes for use on outdoor flat surfaces includes a boot 12 having a sole 14 and a heel 16. Sole 14 has a sole forward area 18 and a sole rearward area 20. Sole 14 has a sole bottom 22 and heel 16 has a heel bottom 24. Heel 16 is secured to sole bottom 22 at sole rearward area 20. Sole bottom 22 and heel bottom 24 are in general alignment with an imaginary horizontal plane 26. Boot 12 is a traditional boot known in the art of roller skates including sole 14 being stiff and thick and made of a stiff, or hard, leather or stiff hard leather-like material, such as molded polymer of vinyl chloride or polyvinyl chloride.

A metal support plate 28 is secured to sole forward area 18 and heel bottom 24. A forward truck 30A and a rearward truck 30B are transversely mounted to support plate 28 at sole forward area 18 and at sole rearward area 20, respectively, by front and rear bolts 32A and 32B, respectively. Forward truck 30A is located in the area below the ball of the foot of the wearer and rearward truck 30B is located in the area below heel 16. Front bottom bolt 32A secures forward truck 30A to support plate 28. Rear bottom bolt 32B secures rearward truck 30B to support plate 28. Both forward truck 30A and rearward truck 30B are double action trucks.

Alternatively, heel 16 can be absent with sole 14 including sole forward area 18 and sole rearward area 20 extending along and being secured to the entire length of horizontal metal support plate 28. Again alternatively, heel 16 can be positioned atop sole 18 at sole rearward area 20 when sole 14 is positioned along the entire length of support plate 28.

Two rivets 33 permanently secure forward area 18 of support plate 28 to sole 14 of boot 12 and two rivets 33 permanently secure rearward area 20 of support plate 28 to heel 16. Front and rear axles 34A and 34B, respectively, are mounted through forward truck 30A and rearward truck 30B, respectively.

A toe stop 36 is secured to support plate 28. Axles 34A and 34B are preferably solid axles with external threads at the ends. A pair of left and right front wheels, 38A and 38B, respectively, are mounted to front axle 34A; and a pair of left and right rear wheels 40A and 40B, respectively, are mounted to rear axle 34B. Each wheel 38A,B and 40A,B is provided with a plastic hub 42 molded with seven plastic spokes 44. Hub 42 can alternatively be made of a lightweight metal such as aluminum. A lock nut 46 at the axle ends holds wheels 38A,B and 40A,B to axles 34A,B, and also holds axles 34A,B to trucks 30A,B.

Each wheel 38A,B and 40A,B includes a tire 48 having a rim 50 that has a rim outer surface, or profile, 52 configured as a semi-circle in cross-section as seen in FIGS. 6 and 6A. Rim 50 is connected to spokes 44.

Each of front wheels 38A,B and each of rear wheels 40A,B has a rim apex 54 that is at least as high as imaginary horizontal plane 26.

An expository alternative quad skate 56 analogous to quad skate 10 is shown in FIG. 3 and includes a boot 58 analogous to boot 12 of skate 10, with a stiff, thick sole 60 made of a stiff, or hard, leather or stiff, or hard, leather-like material analogous to sole 14 of skate 10. Boot 58 includes a heel 62, and a support plate 64. Quad skate 56 includes a left front wheel 66 and a left rear wheel 68 analogous to left front wheel 38A and left rear wheel 40A, respectively, of skate 10. Each left front wheel 66 and left rear wheel 68 has a wheel apex 70 that extends several millimeters above the imaginary horizontal plane 26 shown in FIG. 2 that is formed by the bottom of sole 60 and the bottom of heel 62. The diameter of the wheels of quad skate 56 is limited only by the horizontal space 72 required between front and rear wheels 66 and 68 wherein the rims of the wheels would not interfere in rotation.

The diameter of the wheels of quad skate 10 vary in the general range of 100 millimeters up to 135 millimeters or greater for skaters who wear larger boots. It may be also noted children with smaller feet would skate on a quad skate 10 configured identically but with proportionally smaller wheels. In theory 175 millimeter wheels would be possible for a skater who wears a size 20 boot. Also, a 90 millimeter wheel would be suitable for a child who wears a size 3 or 4 boot due to horizontal size limitations between the front and rear axles.

Each of front wheels 36A,B and rear wheels 38A,B is a thin-width wheel having a width in the general range of 24 to 25 millimeters. FIG. 6 shows a section of the bottom of front wheel 38B as typical of all wheels 38A,B and 40A,B wherein flat skating surface 74 meets profile 52 at a tangential point of contact 76 where a vertical line of force 78 is transmitted from flat skating surface 74 to the radial center 80 of profile 52 of wheel 38A.

FIG. 6A shows wheel 38A in a tilted, or angled, mode when skate to for any of several reasons, such a during cornering, or when the opposite right front wheel 38B has struck an obstacle, or when left front wheel 38A has entered a lateral crack in outdoor surface 74. A vertical line of force 78 is sent from flat outdoor surface 74 from tangential point of contact 76 to radial center 80.

FIG. 5 shows right boot 12 particularly including sole 14 and heel 16 having opposed left and right bottom side edges 82A and 82B, respectively that extend between forward area 18 and rearward area 20 of boot 12. Left and right side edges 82A and 82B, respectively, are asymmetrical because of the characteristics of the human foot.

Left front wheel 38A and left rear wheel 40A are positioned in a first vertical plane and right front wheel 38B; and right front wheel 38B and right rear wheel 40B are positioned in a second vertical plane that is parallel to the first vertical plane. The first and second vertical planes are spaced away from opposed left and right side edges 82A and 82B, respectively.

Forward and rearward trucks 30A and 30B comprise forward and rearward truck castings that define first and second borings, respectively, within which front and rear axles 34A and 34B are respectively rotationally positioned. As seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, forward and rearward trucks 30A and 30B have ends that are positioned beyond boot side edges 82A and 82B, respectively. Alternatively, short forward and rearward trucks (not shown) generally analogous to forward and rearward trucks 30A and 30B can have truck ends that are positioned under boot 12, that is, positioned within boot side edges 82A and 82B, with axles 34A and 34B nonetheless being positioned beyond boot side edges 82A and 82B as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The technology for maintaining axles 34A and 34B into their lateral positions while mounted to such short forward and rearward trucks is known in the art.

The principles and description of a mating left quad skate are analogous to right quad skate 10 as set forth herein.

The aluminum truck castings 30A and 30B of the present invention must be at least 4 inches wide. Axles 34A and 34B are inserted thru the center of truck castings 34A and 34B. The length of axles 34A and 34B is in the range of 6 inches. Therefore 1.25 inch of axles 34A and 34B protrude from each end of truck casting 30A,B.

In general, the tire area 48 of each wheel 38A,B and 40A,B preferably has a durometer hardness factor in the range of 74 A to 88 A. The durometer reading is a measure of the hardness of the material that makes up wheel's tire. The higher the hardness, the harder the wheel. In addition, the harder the wheel, the longer it lasts, but the less it absorbs shock and vibration when skating. Most wheels on the market range from 74 A (softest) to 88 A (hardest), where the letter A denotes the durometer scale. However, recreational skaters are normally interested in a narrower range from 78 A to 2 A. This hardness range provides good control and a smooth roll for trail skating.

An alternative description of FIGS. 1-6A that includes certain inventive features of the present invention not previously discussed commences herewith.

Durability, strength and resistance of quad skate 10 to distortion of quad skate 10 are significantly increased by its unified structure when wheels 52 come into contact with unexpected objects and irregularities encountered on typical outdoor surfaces such as roads and walkways Pressures and stresses thus are not concentrated in certain areas but are distributed throughout skate 10.

Unified quad skate 10 achieves such a result in the following manner.

Quad skate 10 includes a bolt connector 32A securing forward truck 30A to support plate 28. In the same manner quad skate 10 includes a bolt connector 32B securing rearward truck 30B to support plate 28.

Bolt connectors 32A and 32B specifically include a bolt and a nut that are permanently connected in a manner known in the art.

One preferred method of permanently connecting a nut to a bolt is to cut short the protruding end of the bolt and then hammer the short protruding end of the bolt onto the nut wherein the nut is immovable relative to the bolt.

Quad skate 10 includes two forward rivet connectors 33 securing forward truck 30A to sole 18 thus making a permanent connection as is axiomatic in the art of riveting. Likewise, quad skate 10 includes two rearward rivet connectors 33 securing rearward truck 30B to heel 20 making a permanent connection as is axiomatic in the art of riveting.

Positioning wheels 38A and 38B and wheels 40A and 40B in wide lateral positions increases the stability of quad skate 10 especially when it encounters surface irregularities.

Boot 10 as seen from a bottom view shows left and right side edges 82A and 82B, respectively, include the boot bottom 14 defining a boot bottom left maximum side edge 82A lying in a boot left vertical plane 41 AA in FIG. 5 located between boot forward area 12 and boot rearward area 13. Boot bottom 14 further defines a boot bottom right maximum right side edge 82B lying in a boot right vertical plane 41BB located between the boot forward area 12 and the boot rearward area 13. Left front wheel 38A and left rear wheel 40A are positioned in a left vertical plane 41AA, and right front wheel 38B and right rear wheel 38B are positioned in a right vertical plane 41BB. Each of the left and right vertical planes 41AA and 41BB are spaced outwardly from the boot maximum left and right side edges, 82A and 82B, respectively.

Left and right front wheels 38A and 38B are mounted to front axle 30A and left and right rear wheels 40A and 40B are mounted to rear axle 38B.

Each of front wheels 38A and each of rear wheels 40A and 40B have a wheel apex 50 at least as high as horizontal support plate 28.

The purpose of the permanence of forward nut and bolt connector 32A between truck 30A and plate 28 and the permanence of rearward nut and bolt connector 32B between truck 30B and plate 28 is to create a stable quad skate 10 during skating operations.

In summary, when the structure of the entire quad skate 10 is unified, pressures and stresses tend to be distributed throughout the entire skate structure. A unitary quad skate is able to withstand repeated shocks and prevent distortion of the skate.

Two prior art patents were named earlier, namely,

A) German patent DE3031386A! entitled “Long Travel Roller Skate” issued to Seld on Aug. 20, 1980.

B) U.S. Pat. No. 2,664,294, entitled “Rink Roller Skate With Quickly Exchangeable Trucks”, issued to Kleinman on Dec. 29, 1953.

The present invention will now be distinguished from these two patents.

A) Seld discloses a quad skate that is intended for outdoor use and will meet the irregularities of outdoor surfaces. The Seld quad skate includes a support plate that is bolted to forward and rearward trucks.

Seld states that one purpose of his invention is to provide a quad skate that can be used by skaters of various shoe sizes. The shoe of Seld is removably strapped onto the support plate. Thus, the invention of Seld is limited to the base portion of the quad skate apart from the shoe.

The present invention defines the quad skate as being a quad boot unified with the quad skate structure to which the boot is attached.

In particular, the Seld outdoor quad skate includes a binding that only temporarily secures the skater's shoe to the support plate. FIG. 1 shows the skate with the bindings holding the shoe to the support plate. A complex arrangement of hooks and slots cooperate to hold an adjustable elastic strap 31 to the support plate. The strap is easily removed by loosening it from the slots and checks mounted to the support plate. In this manner the shoe can be easily removed from the support plate. This enables the user to use a shoe that fits the user's foot in an interchangeable manner as mentioned above and not to make a stable complete quad skate that is stable in accordance with the present invention.

It is obvious even to a casual observer that the Seld skate has a built in instability at such times when the user is skating down streets and sidewalks and parkways. The applicant cannot prove this, but any reasonable person will come to this conclusion after observing FIG. 1 of Seld. Such a quad skate might operate reasonably well when it is in use, but nonetheless it can be said that such a loosely connected outdoor quad skate must be somewhat limited in use and durability.

The wheels of Seld are laterally mounted outward from the sides of the shoe and the support plate. The wheels have an apex with a height at least as high or higher than the support plate.

Seld does not disclose a quad skate that includes a quad boot permanently mounted to horizontal support plate. The Seld skate is inherently unstable by the very nature of its removable shoe. It is further noted that the quad shoe of Seld is not a stiff quad boot as is the case with the present invention but must be a flexible shoe that assumes the varied surface of the angled support plate described by Seld. This adds another element of instability to the Seld quad skate.

B) The Kleinman skate is self-described as a rink skate. FIGS. 1-7 show the skate as being a narrow quad skate with closely spaced paired forward and rearward wheels. The Kleinman skate is intended for smooth surfaces.

Kleinman describes a footplate 1 riveted to a shoe. A guide and slide coupling between each rearward truck 2 and footplate 1 (col. 1, lines 22-26) in FIG. 4 shows each guide, and FIG. 3 shows each slide 12. FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 show guide 16 mounted with slide 12 that are secured together by bolt 30.

It is particularly noted that bolt 30 can be unscrewed from its connecting mode so that trucks 2 can be removed from foot plate 1 and new trucks mounted to foot plate 1. As seen in FIG. 2, flanges 17, which form two guides 16, are secured to foot plate 1. Guide and slide technology is described on page 3, lines 16-31.

In summary, Kleinman teaches a roller skate that is not unitary in the sense of the present invention but is meant to be dismantled, or taken apart with little effort. A guide 16 is attached to footplate 1 and a slide 12 is attached to each forward and rearward truck 2. Trucks and wheels sometimes break down. The Kleinman invention allows a rink owner to reduce skate inventory by reducing replacement stock to the truck and wheel portion of the roller skate. That is, the broken truck and wheel portion is removed while the skater continues to wear the upper shoe and plate portion while the slide of a new truck is slid into the guide of the footplate.

It is apparent that the Kleinman skate is obviously weighted with slide and guide structure that reduces the value of the skate for long distance outdoor use. As such, it is unrelated in use and technology to the present quad skate technology. Furthermore, it is evident that the slide and glide structure cannot be said to be obviously stable over rugged long term use.

Although the present invention has been described in some detail by way of illustration and example for purposes of clarity and understanding, it will, of course, be understood that various changes and modifications may be made in the form, details, and arrangements of the parts without departing from the scope of the invention set forth in the following claims.