The Patent Thread - New and Wild Mountain Bike Inventions

11/6/2014 10:31 AM

Every week a handful of new patents are approved in the mountain bike world. Some of the inventions are very interesting and some are hilarious. I like to keep tabs on the new stuff and will be posting up the ones that are the most intriguing. Join in the fun by posting up your own finds or check out some new ideas that may come down the line in the future.

First up is a wild new way of shifting gears that could replace front derailleurs. Patent # US20140323253A1 by Paul Thomas Williams.



Abstract: Embodiments include a gear shifting system that eliminates the use of a derailleur and is capable of integrating with existing controls on the bike.

Download the full patent here.

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11/6/2014 10:36 AM
Edited Date/Time: 11/6/2014 11:47 AM

It seems as though Shimano is considering linking a version of their electronic shifting system to your suspension as well. The concept uses hydraulics to move the derailleurs and change the shock's mode. Patent # US20140318306A1.



Abstract: A bicycle component control apparatus is configured to control at least one bicycle component. The bicycle component control apparatus basically comprises a user operating device, an electric actuating unit and a hydraulic unit. The electric actuating unit is controlled in response to operation of the user operating device. The hydraulic unit is fluidly connected to the at least one bicycle component so as to fluidly control the at least one bicycle component in response to actuation of the electric actuating unit.

Download the full patent here.

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11/6/2014 9:21 PM

You're a geek. But that's a good thing for the rest of us. Keep up the good work.

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11/7/2014 2:45 PM

Power Meter linked electronic shock damping for instant pedaling efficiency without any levers to flick... full plush, unless you're cranking, then the low speed cranks up.
Can use the power source from your electronic shifter that will be mounted to your bike in a year or two.

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11/7/2014 7:17 PM

Isn't that first one remarkably similar to the Browning Transmission of a decade or so ago? Great idea, but making it reliable was the issue I do believe. And come to think of it some other chap had a pretty good working prototype of his version a few years ago. Maybe this is him with the money and ready to go?

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11/8/2014 12:19 PM

Funny that you guys wrote an article of my product a year ago showing acutally a working Version of this gear System which is also patented since years. Good luck Mr. Williams and I hope they refund you the Money for the application. See www.vyro.com. Product will be launched in February.

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11/8/2014 1:04 PM

cool to see it in action vyro!

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11/8/2014 9:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/8/2014 9:07 PM

Big Bird wrote:

Isn't that first one remarkably similar to the Browning Transmission of a decade or so ago? Great idea, but making it reliable was the issue I do believe. And come to think of it some other chap had a pretty good working prototype of his version a few years ago. Maybe this is him with the money and ready to go?

Both this one and the other one you are thinking of use the same concept of moving part of a segmented chainring into the chainline in order to switch gears, same as the Browning. Actually Browning had a 2 speed BMX unit on the market 30 years ago. One of the most famous racers of the 1980s, Darrell Young, used it in competition quite successfully. Suntour BEAST was a triple version of this system that came out in 1990, except it shifted electronically. Although the BMX 2 speed functioned well enough, it didn't really offer a performance advantage over a traditional single speed for BMX racing. I don't believe that the BEAST triple held up very well in real off road conditions, and having to do a full 360 degree pedal rotation before you could shift isn't going to cut it for mountain biking in my opinion. The Vyro system on the other hand looks pretty good to me. Yeah, the concept of the segmented chainring is the same, but the mechanism itself functions very differently, is vastly more sophisticated and seems well thought out. I do have to wonder how it would perform, and what it's long term durability would be like in a really muddy climate though. That being said, I think it could be a great setup for someone like myself, as I live in a very dry climate and much prefer a two chainring setup over anything else. It's definitely something I would consider buying. Also, watching the video of the Vyro makes me wonder if that system could make shiftable narrow/wide chainrings possible?



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11/8/2014 11:22 PM

Well actually the Browning and the Beast did not use this technology. If you look closer you will find out that the chain is not moved anymore. Browning used on segment to derail the chain from one sprocket to the other. At the Vyro System all segments are brought into the chainline. As the video explains. Ending up that shifting works in less than a quater rotation. And yes I am riding a VYRÓ of the first series with an 11 Speed chain. It shifts faster and smoother than anything . But it looks way different than the old prototypes posted on the website. So I can understand the concerns when looking at these.

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11/9/2014 9:55 AM

i'd be worried about this if i was any major tire manufacturer

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11/9/2014 5:58 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/10/2014 12:25 PM

sledgehammer.skibikes wrote:

Well actually the Browning and the Beast did not use this technology. If you look closer you will find out that the chain is not moved anymore. Browning used on segment to derail the chain from one sprocket to the other. At the Vyro System all segments are brought into the chainline. As the video explains. Ending up that shifting works in less than a quater rotation. And yes I am riding a VYRÓ of the first series with an 11 Speed chain. It shifts faster and smoother than anything . But it looks way different than the old prototypes posted on the website. So I can understand the concerns when looking at these.

Hello,
I have watched, and re-watched the video many times. At least 20 times, often stopping at starting it quickly trying to figure out what I was supposedly missing. I finally got it figured out and see what you mean. I also figured out why you are still having to go online and explain to people how it is different than those other designs. It's your video. It is really difficult to see what is going on. The camera angles are not very good, and your arm coming in and out of the shot directly in front of the camera doesn't help. It's easy for me to see it now that it understand what's going on. I don't intend to be presumptuous, but I suggest editing your video to include two shots from directly above, looking straight down. One while operating it with the chain on, and one with the chain removed. I think many people believe your system moves the chain back and forth between an inner and outer chainring (I did), and do not understand that there effectively is no inner or outer chainring. They miss that the larger chainring is moved over inline with , and covering up, the small chainring. Now that I actually understand how the Vyro operates my view of it changed from thinking it looked good and was something I would consider using, to putting it on my dream bike wish list. Best of luck to you. I am looking forward to seeing the final product!

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11/9/2014 10:49 PM

All right. I understand. The thing is that people see what they are used to see. I even met product managers from big companies and they looked on it for minutes and then asked what is new on it. To make it visible we actually even put in this drawings of the segments but.... Anyway thank you for the hint and I will take care of it when making the next video in a few weeks showing the final product. I am sure they will post it here again. Thanks.

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11/12/2014 4:44 PM

Here's a funny one. A tripod for your seat! Patent # US20140312663 by Kent Von Letkemann.



Abstract: A seating device using a bicycle seat post as one leg of a tripod seat base, employs a clamp member attaching to the seat post and receiving two other tripod leg portions therein. A web member extending from lower portions of the two other tripod leg portions passes in front of the lower seat post portion, creating tension for providing a seat base using the bicycle seat as the seating surface.

Read the full patent here.

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11/12/2014 4:55 PM

While we're on the theme, here's a pump that's integrated into a seatpost. Years ago I thought about integrating a retractable lock into a seatpost. Should've made it happen.

Patent # US20140308144 by Dahon Technologies:



Abstract: A manually operated pump for supplying air to a bicycle comprises an outer tube with one end closed and the other end open; a core tube which can slide in the outer tube and is provided with a piston assembly on one end; and a hose which can slide in the core tube. One end of the hose is connected with an air needle, and the other end is connected with an air nozzle assembly. The piston assembly comprises a piston, a piston ring, and a one-way valve communicating with the core tube and the outer tube. An end socket is provided on the other end of the core tube. A narrowing port is formed in the end socket of the core tube. A foot stand is hinged on outer side of the end socket of the core tube. The air needle has a head matching the narrowing port.

Read the full patent here.

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11/24/2014 8:00 AM

Here's another expanding drivetrain prototype, though this one doesn't look very refined nor like it'd play well with suspension designs.

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11/24/2014 8:27 AM

well thought a lot about These expanding gear System but the Point is that they will never be round. And if ever ridden an oval chainring you will know how much difference it makes if the chain ring is only a Little "unround". In the Video you can see how hard he tries to continously "pedal". Would be nice but is not practically. The most efforts did a Company called - Hettlage - Have look under:
http://hettlagedrive.de/
I wish all these guys would check the Internet before investing time and money. I have the biggest respect of anyone who tries to improve it but especially in times of web Access we should check who did already what.

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12/2/2015 2:02 PM

Decided to resurrect this old thread. Two interesting ones came through this week.

Patent Application # 20150337943 by Shimano

Narrow/wide meets tall/skinny in this chainring design.

http://www.freshpatents.com/-dt20151126ptan20150337943.php?id=fpkwm





Patent Applicaton # 20150337833 by Chung Wei Huang, Wen-hung Li, Cheng Yu Huang

Essentially a rechargeable pump to do away with costly CO2 cartridges

"A conventional bicycle air pump comprises a discharge member mounted on a cylinder. A rider may attach the discharge member to a valve of a bicycle for inflating a tire. However, there is no pressure relief device in the air pump. Thus, it is not safe. Further, the cylinder is for a single use. Thus, the need for improvement still exists."

http://www.freshpatents.com/-dt20151126ptan20150337833.php?id=fpkwm





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12/23/2015 2:03 PM

Looks like SRAM is working on some more durable chainring technologies:

Patent Application 20150362057 by SRAM, LLC

http://www.freshpatents.com/-dt20151217ptan20150362057.php

Clad chainring - "A bicycle chainring, including a generally annular body formed of at least an inner material, the inner material including a first side and a second side opposite the first side and a plurality of teeth disposed about a periphery of the body. At least some of the plurality of teeth are formed of both the inner material and an outer material, the outer material disposed on one or both of the first and second sides, the outer material having a greater wear resistance relative to the inner material and a thickness greater than 0.1 millimeter."







__________________________________________

And some in-depth geekery about Rocky Mountain's Maiden downhill bike:

Patent Application 20150360743 by Industries Rad Inc.

http://www.freshpatents.com/-dt20151217ptan20150360743.php

Mountain bicycle with rear suspension having neutral braking trajectory - "A rear wheel suspension system pivotably attached to a bicycle. The suspension system has an upper link attached to a main frame at a first pivot point, and a rear stay member attached to the upper link at a second pivot point. A lower link is attached to the main frame at a third pivot point, and is pivotably attached to the rear stay member at a fourth pivot point. A shock absorber is pivotably connected to the upper link and to the main frame. An instantaneous center of rotation (ICR) is defined where an upper axis extending through the first and second pivots intersects a lower axis extending through the third and fourth pivots. The ICR displaces along a trajectory from behind the bottom bracket, through an inflection point at which the upper axis and the lower axis are parallel, to in front of the bottom bracket, as the shock absorber compresses."





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12/27/2015 3:56 PM

bturman wrote:

While we're on the theme, here's a pump that's integrated into a seatpost. Years ago I thought about integrating a retractable lock into a seatpost. Should've made it happen.

Patent # US20140308144 by Dahon Technologies:



Abstract: A manually operated pump for supplying air to a bicycle comprises an outer tube with one end closed and the other end open; a core tube which can slide in the outer tube and is provided with a piston assembly on one end; and a hose which can slide in the core tube. One end of the hose is connected with an air needle, and the other end is connected with an air nozzle assembly. The piston assembly comprises a piston, a piston ring, and a one-way valve communicating with the core tube and the outer tube. An end socket is provided on the other end of the core tube. A narrowing port is formed in the end socket of the core tube. A foot stand is hinged on outer side of the end socket of the core tube. The air needle has a head matching the narrowing port.

Read the full patent here.

hmm...used one on craigslist...

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bop/5343384266.html


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1/27/2016 1:13 AM

Strava in the electronic revolution, more than just GPS, the future of mtb racing as envisioned by Fox Factory:

http://www.freshpatents.com/-dt20151112ptan20150321084.php

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1/27/2016 10:32 PM

Good find, Varaxis!

Here's something drivetrain related from Shimano. Looks like they're taking into account a ton of factors to spit out that final optimal gear.

Patent application #US20150321084 by Shimano, Inc:



Bicycle setting calculating system, method of calculating bicycle setting, and computer-readable storage medium

Abstract: "A bicycle setting calculating system comprises a drive-train calculating device. The drive-train calculating device is configured to calculate reference drive-train information as a reference for a setting of a drive train based on bicycle information and rider information. The bicycle information relates to a bicycle configured to be equipped with the drive train. The rider information relates to a rider who is to ride the bicycle."

Read the full patent application here.

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2/3/2016 3:17 PM

Two rather funny ones in this week... so hot.



USPTO Application #20160025164 by Shimano Inc. - Rotor cover, rotor cooling apparatus, and temperature-level indicator

"A rotor cover comprises a cover portion and a mounting portion. The cover portion is configured to at least partially cover a disc brake rotor mounted on a bicycle hub assembly. The mounting portion is configured to be mounted on the bicycle hub assembly." Read more.



USPTO Application #20160023712 by Emmanuel Petit-frere - Bicycle linking apparatus

"A bicycle linking apparatus may include a forward assembly and a rear assembly. The forward assembly may include a front bracket having a plurality of head stabilizer mounting holes and a plurality of swivel retractor mounting holes, two bicycle frame adapter brackets that may attach to the front bracket, a head stabilizer that may attach to the head stabilizer mounting holes of the front bracket, and a swivel retractor assembly that may attach to the swivel retractor mounting holes of the front bracket and may attach to the head stabilizer." Read more.

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2/3/2016 3:29 PM

Well, that's one way to get discs into the peloton... but it makes their bike less aero!

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2/4/2016 12:44 AM

1. Most road riders are not trying to go as fast as possible decending, to me suggesting a lot of brake drag and lots of heat. Which is strange to me because I still see 140 rotors front and rear on disc road bikes. The other problem I see is the ridiculous gram counting by freds. I have seen to many times said fred buying the most wack shit because it's light and therefore better. Dangerously thin mostly air space rotors that warp and bend looking at them wrong or the the short lived alloy rotors (not icetec pre) or....or the carbon ones that sucked. To me this is a good parallel to moto, dirt bikes one rotor short intense braking not super high speeds, street/track bike massive dual rotors longer more intense braking slowing down from high speeds. Most likely an oversimplified comparison but there is.

2. Bike centipede, wtf!?

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2/8/2016 12:43 PM

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2/9/2016 1:19 PM

According to a BRAIN article, "a federal appeals court has upheld a tubeless rim patent held by Stan's NoTubes, which has been the subject of a long legal dispute with Specialized. The Federal Circuit decision upholds a previous ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that had declared Stan's NoTubes' U.S. Patent Number 7,334,846 to be valid... Stan's first sued Specialized in 2008, alleging that Specialized was selling rims that infrigned on the patent. A judgment was entered against Specialized in that case in 2015, with Specialized paying compensation to Stan's NoTubes."



Read more here.

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2/9/2016 4:26 PM

If Spesh got dinged once on this already, this time continued infringement could be costly. Reminds me of the delayed wiper guy.. Glad to hear his IP is protected.

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2/24/2016 1:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/24/2016 1:44 PM

Fat bikers and cold weather warriors may appreciate this heated bottle cage:



USPTO Application #20160046341 by Thomas I. Briney - Heated bottle cage for bicycle

A heated bottle cage for a bicycle is provided, The bottle cage includes a main body having an elongated spine configured for mounting to an adjacent portion of a bicycle frame, a base tab extending from the elongated spine, and at least one band extending from the elongated spine at a position spaced from the base tab, The bottle cage further includes a heating element for applying heat to a bottle positioned within the bottle cage.

Read more here.

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2/24/2016 1:13 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/24/2016 1:44 PM

Glad to see continued work on theft prevention/recovery solutions:



USPTO Application #20160050519 by Nicholas Sandin - Embedded location tracking systems for sports equipment

Embedded location tracking systems for sports equipment that include a locator tag embedded within an item of sports equipment in such a fashion that removal of the tag results in severe damage to the sports equipment. The tag is capable of determining its location and continually reporting this location over a wireless data network to a server for use by the owner of the sports equipment. The sports equipment can include any item capable of receiving the locator tag in a fashion manner that would result in serious damage to the equipment upon removal. Examples include skis, a snowboard, watersports equipment, or bicycles.

Read more here.

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2/24/2016 1:27 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/24/2016 1:44 PM

Shimano is working on a hydraulic quick-release system that can be applied to a disc brake or other hydraulic systems such as suspension or a dropper post:



USPTO Application #20160039492 by Shimano, Inc. - Bicycle hydraulic quick-release apparatus and bicycle frame

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention, a bicycle hydraulic quick-release apparatus comprises a main body and a hydraulic chamber. The main body includes a first hole and a second hole. The hydraulic chamber has a changeable volume and is provided between the first hole and the second hole. The hydraulic chamber is configured to be in a first chamber state where a volume of the hydraulic chamber is a first volume. The hydraulic chamber is configured to be in a second chamber state where the volume of the hydraulic chamber is a second volume different from the first volume. The hydraulic chamber is disconnected from the first hole in the second chamber state...

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