An exercise machine has a number of features relating to ease of use. The machine has a widened step through design, improved foot straps, an adjustable reading display or a pivotal arm rest.
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This application is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/759,539, filed Jan. 19, 2004, which claims the priority benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/441,330, filed on Jan. 17, 2003, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention generally relates to exercise bicycles. More specifically, the present invention relates to exercise bicycles having improved step through regions and/or moveable reading supports.
2. Description of the Related Art
The exercise industry manufactures a variety of machines that provide users with cardiovascular exercise. These machines include stepper machines, elliptical machines, spinner bicycles and recumbent bicycles. The design of each of these types of machines results in certain advantages and disadvantages.
Users weigh many factors in determining which exercise equipment to use during time spent in a gym or when exercising at home. Among the factors weighed is ease of use. Accordingly, exercise equipment designers have continually sought to improve the ease of use of the various machines.SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
One area in which current exercise bicycle designs need improvement is entry and exit access. Current bicycle designs generally feature an enclosed elevated region between the seat and the handlebars. This enclosed region generally houses drive train components that are used to adjust the level of pedaling difficulty. This enclosed region, however, requires a user to raise a leg over the enclosed region when mounting and dismounting the bicycle. Some designs have provided a slight separation between the handlebars and the seat, which separation provides some degree of clearance. These designs, however, generally taper in a downward direction such that the narrowest region is at the bottom. This is disadvantageous in that users may not be able to easily mount and dismount the equipment. For instance, because people have different foot sizes, some people will have to lift their foot higher than others in order to mount or dismount the bicycle.
Current designs also are fairly heavy and difficult to move. In some gyms, users like to talk while exercising. In such instances, the equipment may not be positioned relative to other equipment in a manner that allows easy conversation. Thus, equipment that is made for easier movement during relocation while still maintaining an adequately fixed positioned during exercise is desired. Such equipment also can facilitate cleaning the floor around the equipment.
Often, people using exercise machines also read while exercising. Reading on some equipment, however, is fairly difficult. For instance, the reading material must be held during the exercise, which can be fairly difficult for extended periods of time. In addition, if a reading support is provided, the support may not be properly positioned for each user. Accordingly, an adjustable reading support is desired.
In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, an exercise machine comprises a frame. The frame comprises a base. A seat is mounted to a rear portion of the frame and a display is mounted to a forward portion of the frame. A resistance force generating assembly is disposed generally below a portion of the display. The assembly is disposed within a first housing. A second housing is formed separate of the first housing and is disposed generally rearward of the first housing. An opening being defined between the first and the second housings and the opening being wider at a location proximate the base than at an elevation higher than the location.
In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, an exercise machine comprises a frame with a seat supported by a rear portion of the frame. A forward portion of the frame supports a hand grip and the forward portion of the frame movably supports a reading support. The reading support is disposed forward of the seat and is adjustable relative to the seat.
These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will now be described with reference to the drawings of a preferred embodiment, which embodiment is intended to illustrate and not to limit the invention. The figures comprise 13 drawings.
With reference now to
With reference now to
In the illustrated arrangement, the base 14 and the standard 16 are separately formed and secured together in a suitable manner, including but not limited to, welding, physical interlocking connections, mechanical fasteners and the like. In some embodiments, the base 14 and the standard 16 can be integrally formed. While the illustrated arrangement may reduce tooling costs, the integrated arrangement could reduce overall manufacturing costs during mass production.
A pair of longitudinally spaced seat standards 20 extend upward from a rear portion of the base 14. As used herein, the longitudinal direction is the direction in which a user faces during operation of the bicycle 10 (e.g., front to rear). In the illustrated arrangement, a pair of stays 22 extends longitudinally between the two seat standards 20 to reinforce the seat standards 20. Specifically, in the illustrated arrangement, the stays 22 slope upward from the rearward standard 20 to the forward standard 20. Other seat supporting and elevating constructions can be used if desired.
A seat 24 is positioned above and supported by the seat standards 20 in the illustrated arrangement. The seat 24 preferably is positioned over a slide plate 26 that is mounted to the seat standards 20. The slide plate 26 can be mounted at an angle a to horizontal H (see
The seat 24 preferably engages the slide plate 26 in a manner that secures the seat from being lifted from the slide plate 26. In one embodiment, the seat 24 can be mounted on rollers 27 that roll within a channel formed in the slide plate 26 or the slide plate can contain rollers over which a rail connected to a portion of the seat 24 rolls. Other manners of allowing the seat to translate also can be used.
The slide plate 26 comprises inwardly extending channels that are positioned on the lateral sides of the plate 26. A framework 28 is supported by rollers 27 that are positioned within the channels such that the framework 28 can be formed fore and aft along the slide plate 26. This arrangement allows the slide to be adjusted forward and rearward in any suitable manner.
In one arrangement, a seat lock 29 has a handle 31 that is positioned proximate a forward portion of the seat 24, which handle 31 unlocks the seat 24 for movement when the handle 31 is manipulated and locks the seat 24 against movement when the handle 31 is released. In some embodiments, the seat locking arrangement is similar to those used in the automotive industry for adjustably fixing the location of manually adjustable seats. For instance, as illustrated, a wrap-around handle can be used which allows adjustment of the seat by lifting the handle from two or more one contiguous sides.
The seat 24 in the illustrated arrangement comprises a pair of cushions that are connected to the framework 28: a bottom cushion 30 and a back cushion 32. In some arrangements, a single cushion can be used to provide both vertical and longitudinal support.
Two arm rests 34 (see
An upper portion of the standard 16 supports a display 40. The display can have any suitable construction. Preferably, the display 40 comprises an electronic readout or other suitable configuration to allow the user to receive information regarding the rate of speed, calories burned and the like. In addition, the display preferably allows the input of information by the user. Heart rate sensors 41 and the like also can be mounted proximate the display 40. The electronics relating to the display 40 and the sensors 41 can be connected to a power source with cables that extend through the standard 16. Such displays are well known to those of ordinary skill in the art.
Proximate the display 40, the bicycle 10 also can feature a reading support 42, which is either integrated or separately formed relative to the display 40. In the arrangements illustrated in
With reference to
The reading support 42 of the arrangement illustrated in
The handgrip assembly 62 advantageously comprises heart rate sensors. While the handgrip assembly 62 moves with the channel 60 in the illustrated arrangement, the channel 60 may be designed to move separate of the handgrip assembly 62 if desired.
With reference initially to
In the embodiments of
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The pedals 86 each preferably comprises a foot strap arrangement 110. Any suitable foot strap arrangement can be used (e.g., hook and loop style such as Velcro, buckles, clips, etc.). With reference to
The ribbed portion 114 is sized and configured to pass through a gripping member 120. The gripping member 120 comprises a mounting member 122 and a clasp 124. The clasp 124 can be secured to the mounting member 122 in any suitable manner (e.g., mechanically interlocking constructions, threaded fasteners, etc.) and, in the illustrated arrangement, the clasp 124 is secured to the mounting member 122 with a rivet 126. In some embodiments, the clasp 124 can be formed integrally with the mounting member 122.
The clasp 124 has a construction that allows the ribbed portion 114 to be inserted into the clasp 124. The clasp 124 then can be manipulated to allow selective movement of the ribbed portion 114 within the clasp 124. The selective movement allows the length of the strap to be adjusted such that users having various feet sizes can be accommodated. In the illustrated arrangement, a physical stop is incorporated into the strap 112 to reduce the likelihood that the strap 112 will be completely removed from the clasp. In the illustrated arrangement, the stop comprises a rivet 128. Other suitable stop configurations can be used if desired; however, the rivet 128 provides a simple and effective manner of creating a physical stop.
The illustrated pedal 86 comprises a pair of ears 130. The ears 130 allow the strap 112 to be releasably connected to the pedal 86. One ear is sized and configured to extend through an aperture formed in the mounting member 122 and the other ear is size and configured to extend through the aperture 116 in the strap 112. In other embodiments, either the mounting member 122 or the other end of the strap 112 can be permanently or semi-permanently attached to the pedal 86. The illustrated arrangement, however, advantageously allows for easy removal and replacement of the strap if needed or desired. In addition, the arrangement allows removal of the strap 112 for length adjustments if desired.
The feet 17 preferably support the illustrated frame assembly 12. The feet 17 allow the frame assembly 12 to be leveled and to sit slightly above the floor surface on which the frame assembly 12 is supported. In one arrangement, fixed wheels 132 can be provided at one end, preferably the front. Accordingly, the rear of the bicycle 10 can be raised upward which places the wheels 132 in engagement with the ground such that the bicycle 10 can be easily relocated.
With reference to
In the illustrated arrangement, the retractable caster assembly 140 preferably comprises a step pad 142 that is mounted on a lever 144. The lever 144 can be connected to a post 146 that can be connected to the wheel 148. As the lever 144 is pivoted downward, the post 146 is moved downward within an outer sleeve 150 such that the wheel 148 is driven into the ground or other supporting surface. As the wheel 148 is driven downward, the rear portion of the exercise device is lifted upward. The exercise device then is able to be easily moved about the facility. Any other suitable selectively deployable caster assembly also can be used. See, for example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,249,282, which is incorporated herein in its entirety. In one arrangement, the retractable caster can be locked from movement such that a key or other access-limiting device is required for operation of the caster.
The retractable caster assembly 140 can be mounted either to a portion of the frame assembly 12 or to a portion of the housing such as the seat housing 102. In one preferred arrangement, the assembly 140 is substantially contained within enclosure such that the assembly 140 generally does not adversely affect the pleasing aesthetic appearance of the exercise equipment.
Although the present invention has been described in terms of a certain preferred embodiments, other embodiments apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art also are within the scope of this invention. Thus, various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For instance, various components may be repositioned as desired. Moreover, not all of the features, aspects and advantages are necessarily required to practice the present invention. Accordingly, the scope of the present invention is intended to be defined only by the claims that follow.
2. An adjustable seat assembly for a seated exercise device, the adjustable seat assembly comprising a support framework, a seat positioned above and supported by the support framework, a slide plate being mounted to the support framework, the seat being positioned over the slide plate, the slide plate being mounted at an angle to substantially horizontal, and the seat and the slide plate being connected by rollers such that that the seat is secured against vertically upward removal of the seat from the slide plate.
3. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 2, wherein the rollers are mounted to the seat and wherein the slide plate comprises at least one channel, the rollers being positioned within the at least one channel.
4. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 3, wherein the at least one channel of the slide plate comprises a first channel and a second channel, the first channel and the second channel being on opposite sides of the slide plate.
5. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 4, wherein the first channel and the second channel comprise inwardly extending channels that are positioned on lateral sides of the plate.
6. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 3, wherein a framework connects the rollers to the seat.
7. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 6, wherein the framework extends forward and aft of the rollers.
8. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 7, wherein the framework has a full framework length and the at least one channel has a full channel length, the full framework length being shorter than the full channel length.
9. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 7, wherein the seat comprises at least a first cushion supported on the framework.
10. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 9, wherein the first cushion comprises a bottom cushion and the seat comprises a second cushion that comprises a back cushion.
11. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 2 further comprising a seat lock, the seat lock comprising a handle that is positioned proximate a forward portion of the seat.
12. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 11, wherein the handle allows the seat to lock for movement relative to the slide plate when the handle is manipulated and wherein the handle allows the seat to lock against movement when the handle is released.
13. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 11, wherein the seat comprises a front side, a first lateral side and a second lateral side, the handle extending along at least a portion of the front side and at least a portion of at least one of the first lateral side and the second lateral side.
14. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 13, wherein the handle extends along at least a portion of the front side and at least a portion of the first lateral side and a portion of the second lateral side.
15. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 11, wherein the seat comprises a front side, a first lateral side and a second lateral side, the handle extending along at least a portion of the first lateral side and at least a portion of the second lateral side.
16. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 6 further comprising at least one moveable armrest, the moveable armrest being capable of pivoting relative to the seat.
17. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 16, wherein the at least one moveable armrest is capable of pivoting upward and rearward.
18. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 16, wherein the at least one moveable armrest is capable of pivoting outward and rearward.
19. The adjustable seat assembly of claim 6 further comprising an armrest assembly comprising a generally u-shaped armrest support, a first armrest supported by the u-shaped armrest support and a second armrest supported by the u-shaped armrest support.
Filed: Jun 14, 2010
Publication Date: Jan 13, 2011
Applicant: UNISEN, INC., DBA STAR TRAC (Irvine, CA)
Inventors: Kevin P. Corbalis (Tustin, CA), Mark William Chiles (Yorba Linda, CA), Victor Torres Cornejo (Tustin, CA), Felipe J. Marin (Santa Ana, CA)
Application Number: 12/815,145