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Publication numberUS20060079382 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/192,506
Publication date13 Apr 2006
Filing date29 Jul 2005
Priority date29 Jul 2004
Also published asEP1778370A2, WO2006015284A2, WO2006015284A3
Publication number11192506, 192506, US 2006/0079382 A1, US 2006/079382 A1, US 20060079382 A1, US 20060079382A1, US 2006079382 A1, US 2006079382A1, US-A1-20060079382, US-A1-2006079382, US2006/0079382A1, US2006/079382A1, US20060079382 A1, US20060079382A1, US2006079382 A1, US2006079382A1
InventorsTodd Lassanske, Jesse Ambrosina
Original AssigneeLassanske Todd W, Ambrosina Jesse E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Exercise device with power input measuring capability and user applied resistance mechanism
US 20060079382 A1
Abstract
An exercise device includes a stationary support structure and a power input arrangement supported by the support structure, which are configured such that the user applies input power to the exercise device at the power input arrangement. A rotary member is supported by the support structure, and a power sensing is driven into rotation by input power applied by the user. Input power applied by the user is transferred through the power sensing arrangement to impart rotation to the rotary member. The rotary member is in the form of a rotary resistance-providing member, which is rotatably supported on the support structure by the power sensing arrangement. In one form, the power sensing arrangement is driven into rotation via a chain drive system interposed between the power input arrangement and the rotary power sensing arrangement. The power input arrangement may be in the form of a pedal arrangement, and the rotary resistance-providing member may be in the form of a flywheel rotatably mounted to the stationary support structure via the power sensing arrangement. A user-operated resistance arrangement acts on the flywheel to resist rotation of the flywheel. The user-operated resistance arrangement may be in the form of a caliper arrangement that selectively engages the flywheel in response to user actuation. Representatively, the support structure may be in the form of a stationary bicycle frame that includes a user-supporting seat and a set of handlebars.
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Claims(24)
1. An exercise device for use by a user, comprising:
a stationary support structure;
a power input arrangement supported by the support structure, wherein the user applies input power to the exercise device at the power input arrangement;
a rotary member supported by the support structure; and
a rotary power sensing arrangement supported by the support structure, wherein the rotary power sensing arrangement is driven into rotation by input power applied by the user, and wherein input power applied by the user is transferred through the rotary power sensing arrangement to impart rotation to the rotary member.
2. The exercise device of claim 1, wherein the rotary member comprises a rotary resistance-providing member.
3. The exercise device of claim 2, wherein the rotary resistance-providing member is rotatably supported on the support structure by the rotary power sensing arrangement.
4. The exercise device of claim 3, wherein the rotary power sensing arrangement is driven into rotation via a chain drive system interposed between the power input arrangement and the rotary power sensing arrangement.
5. The exercise device of claim 4, wherein the power input arrangement comprises a pedal arrangement and wherein the rotary resistance-providing member comprises a flywheel rotatably mounted to the stationary support structure via the power sensing arrangement, wherein the chain drive system imparts rotation to the flywheel in response to input power applied by the user to the pedal arrangement.
6. The exercise device of claim 5, including a user-operated resistance arrangement that acts on the flywheel to resist rotation of the flywheel.
7. The exercise device of claim 6, wherein the user-operated resistance arrangement comprises a friction arrangement that selectively engages the flywheel in response to user actuation.
8. The exercise device of claim 6, wherein the support structure comprises a stationary bicycle frame that includes a user-supporting seat and a set of handlebars.
9. A method of sensing power in an exercise device, comprising the acts of:
providing an exercise device that includes a support structure, a user power input associated with the support structure, and a rotary member rotatably mounted to the support structure;
applying input power to the rotary user power input;
rotating the rotary member in response to the input power applied by the user; and
sensing the input power at the rotary member.
10. The method of claim 9, wherein the act of providing an exercise device having a rotary member is carried out by providing an exercise device having a frame and a flywheel rotatably mounted to the frame.
11. The method of claim 10, including the act of applying resistance to the flywheel.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the act of applying resistance to the flywheel is carried out manually by the user.
13. The method of claim 10, wherein the act of rotating the flywheel is carried out via a hub that is rotatably mounted to the frame, wherein the flywheel is secured to the hub
14. The method of claim 13, wherein the act of sensing the input power is carried out by sensing power applied to the hub.
15. The method of claim 10, including the act of supporting the user on the frame of the exercise device.
16. An exerciser, comprising:
an exerciser frame capable of supporting user;
at least one wheel rotatably mounted to the frame;
a drive arrangement operably attached to the frame for rotating the wheel, wherein the drive arrangement includes a user power input;
a user-operated resistance control mechanism that acts on the wheel or the drive arrangement to selectively adjust the amount of resistance applied to the wheel; and
a power measuring apparatus interposed between the power input and the wheel, wherein the power measuring apparatus is operable to measure input power applied by the user to the user power input to impart rotation to the wheel through the drive arrangement.
17. The exerciser of claim 16, wherein the wheel is rotatably mounted to the exerciser frame by means of a hub, and wherein the power measuring apparatus measures power applied to the hub through the drive arrangement.
18. The exerciser of claim 17, wherein the resistance control mechanism comprises a user-operated braking mechanism that acts on the wheel to resist rotation of the wheel.
19. The exerciser of claim 18, wherein the frame comprises a stationary cycling exerciser frame having a seat for supporting the user and a handlebar arrangement located forwardly of the seat, wherein caliper mechanism includes a user-operated resistance input carried by one of the frame and the handlebar arrangement.
20. A method of measuring power applied to a drive assembly of an exerciser having a frame, a rotating member rotatably mounted to the frame, and a user power input carried by the frame, wherein the drive assembly is drivingly interconnected with the rotating member, comprising the acts of:
applying input power to the user power input of the exerciser, wherein the drive arrangement transfers input power applied by the user to drive the rotating member into rotation; and
measuring the input power applied by the user at the rotating member.
21. The method of claim 20, the rotating member is rotatably mounted to the frame via a hub, and wherein the act of measuring the input power applied by the user is carried out by measuring the input power at the hub.
22. The method of claim 21, wherein the rotating member comprises a flywheel, and further comprising the act of resisting rotation of the flywheel.
23. The method of claim 22, wherein the act of resisting rotation of the flywheel is carried out by means of a user-operated resistance control arrangement.
24. The method of claim 23, wherein the act of resisting rotation of the flywheel is carried out by applying a braking force that resists rotation of the flywheel in response to the user-operated resistance control arrangement.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/592,105 filed on Jul. 29, 2004, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to an exercise device, such as a cycling exercise device, that includes a rotating member such as a flywheel. More specifically, the invention relates to a power measurement or sensing arrangement for an exercise device having a rotating member.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Stationary exercise devices typically include a user power input area and a resistance arrangement that provides resistance to the user. An example of such an exercise device is a stationary exercise cycle, which incorporates a rotating flywheel. The flywheel provides an inertial function, and the exercise cycle includes a resistance mechanism that acts on the flywheel to impart resistance beyond that which is provided simply by the rotating mass of the flywheel. For example, many stationary exercise cycles employ a caliper-type mechanism that acts on the flywheel in response to a user-operated actuator, to provide both a braking function and a resistance function.
  • [0004]
    In any type of exercise, it is desirable for a user to know information about an exercise session, both for real time user feedback as well as for use in analysis of past training sessions and planning of future training sessions. While it is known to monitor and record information relating to a wide variety of exercise parameters, it is not generally known to monitor and record information relating to power applied by the user during an exercise session, which can provide very valuable information to a user both during an exercise session and afterward for analysis and planning.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0005]
    It is an object of the present invention to provide a system for monitoring input power applied by a user during operation of an exercise device that includes a rotating member, such as a flywheel. It is a further object of the invention to provide a system that provides real time power information, and which also records power information for future analysis and for planning and executing future exercise or training sessions. A still further object of the invention is to provide an exercise device power input monitoring arrangement that is relatively simple and reliable, and which is generally similar in components and construction to known power monitoring arrangements. Yet another object of the invention is to provide such an exercise device power monitoring arrangement which can be incorporated into the drive arrangement of the exercise device without adding to the overall complexity and cost of the exercise device.
  • [0006]
    In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, an exercise device for use by a user includes a stationary support structure and a power input arrangement supported by the support structure, which are configured such that the user applies input power to the exercise device at the power input arrangement. A rotary member is supported by the support structure, and a rotary power sensing arrangement is supported by the support structure. The rotary power sensing arrangement is driven into rotation by input power applied by the user, and input power applied by the user is transferred through the rotary power sensing arrangement to impart rotation to the rotary member. The rotary member is in the form of a rotary resistance-providing member, which is rotatably supported on the support structure by the rotary power sensing arrangement. In one form, the rotary power sensing arrangement is driven into rotation via a chain drive system interposed between the power input arrangement and the rotary power sensing arrangement. The power input arrangement may be in the form of a pedal arrangement, and the rotary resistance-providing member may be in the form of a flywheel rotatably mounted to the stationary support structure via the power sensing arrangement. The chain drive system imparts rotation to the flywheel in response to input power applied by the user to the pedal arrangement. The exercise device further includes a user-operated resistance arrangement that acts on the flywheel to resist rotation of the flywheel. The user-operated resistance arrangement may be in the form of a caliper arrangement that selectively engages the flywheel in response to user actuation. Representatively, the support structure may be in the form of a stationary bicycle frame that includes a user-supporting seat and a set of handlebars.
  • [0007]
    In accordance with another aspect of the invention, a method of sensing power in an exercise device includes the acts of providing an exercise device that includes a support structure, a rotary user power input associated with the support structure, and a rotary member rotatably mounted to the support structure at a location spaced from the rotary user power input. The method further includes the acts of applying input power to the rotary user power input, rotating the rotary member in response to the input power applied by the user, and sensing the input power at the rotary member. The act of providing an exercise device having a rotary member is carried out by providing an exercise device having a frame and a flywheel rotatably mounted to the frame. The method further includes the act of applying resistance to the flywheel, which may be carried out manually by the user. The act of rotating the flywheel may be carried out via a hub that is rotatably mounted to the frame, wherein the flywheel is secured to the hub. In this embodiment, the act of sensing the input power is carried out by sensing power applied to the hub.
  • [0008]
    The invention also contemplates an exerciser, including an exerciser frame capable of supporting a user, at least one wheel rotatably mounted to the frame, and a drive arrangement operably attached to the frame for rotating the wheel. The drive arrangement includes a user power input, and the exerciser further includes a user-operated resistance control mechanism that acts on the wheel to selectively adjust the amount of resistance applied to the wheel. A power measuring apparatus is interposed between the power input and the wheel. The power measuring apparatus is operable to measure input power applied by the user to the user power input to impart rotation to the wheel through the drive arrangement. The wheel is rotatably mounted to the exerciser frame by means of a hub, and the power measuring apparatus measures power applied to the hub through the drive arrangement. The resistance control mechanism may be in the form of a user-operated caliper mechanism that acts on the wheel to resist rotation of the wheel. The frame may be in the form of a stationary cycling exerciser frame having a seat for supporting the user and a handlebar arrangement located forwardly of the seat, with the caliper mechanism including a user-operated resistance input carried by one of the frame and the handlebar arrangement.
  • [0009]
    The invention also contemplates a method of measuring power applied to a drive assembly of an exerciser having a frame, a rotating member rotatably mounted to the frame, and a user power input carried by the frame. The drive assembly is drivingly interconnected with the rotating member. In accordance with this aspect, input power is applied by the user to the user power input of the exerciser, and the drive arrangement transfers input power applied by the user to drive the rotating member into rotation. This aspect further includes the act of measuring the input power applied by the user at the rotating member. The rotating member is rotatably mounted to the frame via a hub, and the act of measuring the input power applied by the user is carried out by measuring the input power at the hub. The rotating member is in the form of a flywheel or other part of the drive assembly, and the method further includes the act of resisting rotation of the flywheel or other part of the drive assembly. The act of resisting rotation of the flywheel or other part of the drive assembly is carried out by means of a user-operated resistance control arrangement. The act of resisting rotation of the flywheel or other part of the drive assembly may be carried out by applying frictional resistance to rotation of the flywheel o other part of the drive assembly in response to the user-operated resistance control arrangement.
  • [0010]
    Various other features, objects and advantages of the invention will be made apparent from the following description taken together with the drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0011]
    The drawings illustrate the best mode presently contemplated of carrying out the invention. In the drawings:
  • [0012]
    FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of an exercise device, in the form of a cycling exerciser, in accordance with the present invention;
  • [0013]
    FIGS. 2-5 are views illustrating a representative cable-type actuator arrangement incorporated in the exercise device of FIG. 1, for use in actuating a caliper-type frictional resistance arrangement in order to provide either a braking function or a resistance control function in the cycling exerciser;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 6 is an isometric view of a power measuring arrangement for the exercise device of FIG. 1, in the form of a flywheel mounted to the frame of the exercise device via a power sensing hub; and
  • [0015]
    FIG. 7 is a partial section view through the flywheel and power sensing hub assembly of FIG. 6.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0016]
    Referring to FIG. 1, the present invention contemplates a cycling exerciser, shown generally at 20, that includes an actuator assembly 22 for braking and for user applied resistance adjustment. In the illustrated embodiment, the actuator assembly 22 is a cable-type actuator assembly that allows for a single caliper actuation cable 24 to be actuated by either a brake cable 26 or a resistance adjustment cable 28 of the cycling exerciser 20. In a manner to be explained, cable-type actuator assembly 22 can be used to actuate a caliper 30 or other resistance means on cycling exerciser 20.
  • [0017]
    Cycling exerciser 20 includes a self-supporting frame 32. Attached to frame 32 are an adjustable seat 34, a flywheel or wheel 36 and handlebars 38. Frame 32 can take a variety of configurations, and is shown in the illustrated embodiment as a rear wheel spin bike incorporating a “forkless frame.” Frame 32 is generally diamond-shaped and includes a neck 33, an upper frame member 35, a lower frame member 37, an upright seat support 40 and a rear fork 42. A front support member 44 and a rear support member 46 are connected to frame 32 and elevate frame 32 off the ground or other support surface, such that wheel 36 spins freely in the air. As illustrated in FIG. 1, support members 44, 46 may also include feet 48 to raise the frame 32 off the ground. A transport wheel 50 may also be included to assist a user in moving the cycling exerciser 20.
  • [0018]
    “Bull-horn” handlebars 38 are adjustably attached to the front of the frame 32 above neck 33. Handlebars 38 include at least one right handle 54 and one left handle (not shown). Handlebars 38 may additionally include an alternative upright right handle 52 and upright left handle (not shown), which can be utilized when a rider desires a more upright riding position when exercising.
  • [0019]
    Cycling exerciser 20 includes a user power input, in the form of a conventional crank-type pedal assembly 51 rotatably mounted to frame 32 below seat 34. Pedal assembly 51 includes a chain ring or sprocket 53, which in turn drives a chain 55 in a manner as is known. In a manner to be explained, chain 55 is engaged with a rear hub to which flywheel 36 is mounted, so as to impart rotation to flywheel 36 in response to the application of user input power to pedal assembly 51.
  • [0020]
    At least one brake lever or hand brake 56 is connected to either the left handle or the right handle 54. Hand brake 56 may be of the conventional type and is operably connected to a brake cable 26 in a manner known in the art. Brake cable 26 is preferably surrounded by a plastic or rubber sheath 58, in a known manner. Sheath 58 and brake cable 26 extend downwardly from handlebars 38 in a direction towards the upper frame member 35 of the bike frame 32.
  • [0021]
    Sheath 58 and brake cable 26 engage a cylindrical threaded collar 66, which is connected to a threaded receiver 65 secured to the outside of an actuator mounting or receiving bracket 68 incorporated in the cable-type actuator assembly 22.
  • [0022]
    On either the left handle or the right handle 54, a resistance adjustment mechanism 70 is attached to the handlebars 38. Resistance adjustment mechanism 70 can take a variety of configurations. In the illustrated embodiment, resistance mechanism 70 is in the form of a threaded adjustment knob 72 connected to the distal end of either the left handle or the right handle 54. Adjustment knob 72 is connected to one end of a resistance adjustment cable 28 in a manner such that rotation of knob 72 either tightens or loosens resistance adjustment cable 28. Resistance adjustment cable 28 is also preferably surrounded by a plastic or rubber sheath 74, in a manner as is known. Sheath 74 and resistance adjustment cable 28 extend from knob 72 through the interior of handlebars 38 toward the frame 32. Sheath 74 and resistance adjustment cable 28 exit the handlebars 38 from a hole (not shown) and extend downwardly in a direction towards the upper frame member 35 of the frame 32.
  • [0023]
    Resistance adjustment cable 28 and sheath 74 engage a second cylindrical threaded collar 80, which is connected to a threaded receiver 65 secured to the outside of actuator mounting or receiving bracket 68 incorporated in the cable-type actuator assembly 22.
  • [0024]
    Cable-type actuator assembly 22 is generally comprised of an actuator or cable retaining member 86 movably mounted on actuator receiving bracket 68 and movable between first and second walls defined by the actuator receiving bracket 52. It will become apparent from the following description that actuator 86 and actuator receiving bracket 68 can take a variety of configurations. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-5, actuator receiving bracket 68 is in the form of a pivot-type receiving bracket 67. Actuator 86 is in the form of a generally rectangular, pivotally mounted swing plate 88 that is movable between a first transverse wall 82 and a second transverse wall 84 defined by the pivot receiving bracket 67.
  • [0025]
    As best illustrated in FIGS. 2-5, pivot receiving bracket 67 is fastened to the upper frame member 35. Pivot receiving bracket 67 is a generally rectangular member that includes transverse wall 84, with which threaded collars 66 and 80 are engaged through threaded receivers 65. Pivot receiving bracket 67 also includes transverse wall 82 opposite the wall 84. A threaded collar 90, which is secured to the end of caliper actuation cable 24, is engaged with transverse wall 82 through a threaded receiver 65. An axial wall 92 extends between and interconnects transverse walls 82, 84. Axial wall 92 includes a pivot connection extension 94, which extends downwardly from the lower edge of axial wall 92 through an opening formed in the upper wall of upper frame member 35. A pivot pin 96 extends through pivot connection extension 94 and pivotally connects swing plate 88 to the pivot receiving bracket 67.
  • [0026]
    Swing plate 88 is configured to pivot within the area between transverse walls 82 and 84. Located on the right side of the swing plate 88 in a generally central location is a resistance adjustment cable cradle 98. Located below and aligned with the resistance adjustment cable cradle 98 is a brake cable cradle 100. Resistance adjustment cable cradle 98 and brake cable cradle 100 are configured to retain the exposed terminal ends 102, 104 of resistance adjustment cable 28 and brake cable 26, respectively. In the upper left corner of the swing plate 88, opposite the pivot pin 96, is a single caliper actuation cable cradle 106 configured to receive the exposed terminal end 108 of caliper actuation cable 24.
  • [0027]
    As referenced above, the exposed terminal end 104 of brake cable 26 and the exposed terminal end 102 of resistance adjustment cable 28 extend through the collars 66, 80 into the pivot receiving bracket 67. Resistance adjustment cable terminal end 102 extends from stop 80 through transverse wall 84 into the resistance adjustment cable cradle 98 mounted to the swing plate 88. Resistance adjustment cable cradle 98 is a hollow member configured to receive a fastener 112 therein, in a known manner. Resistance adjustment cable terminal end 102 is inserted through a hole 114 in resistance adjustment cable cradle 98. The resistance adjustment cable terminal end 102 is then crimped onto the fastener 112 within the resistance adjustment cable cradle 98 using fastener 112, such that resistance adjustment cable 28 is operably connected to the swing plate 88.
  • [0028]
    In a similar manner, brake cable terminal end 104 extends from stop 66 through transverse wall 84 into the brake cable cradle 100 mounted to the swing plate 88. Brake cable cradle 100 is also a hollow member configured to receive a fastener 116 therein. Brake cable terminal end 104 is inserted through a hole in brake cable cradle 100. The brake cable terminal end 104 is then crimped onto the fastener 116 within the brake cradle 100 such that brake cable 26 is also operably connected to the swing plate 88.
  • [0029]
    Caliper actuation cable 24 extends from the pivot receiving bracket rear transverse wall 82. Caliper actuation cable 24 extends through pivot receiving bracket rear wall 82 through collar 90. Rearward of the collar 90, actuation cable 24 is preferably surrounded by a plastic or rubber sheath 120 in a manner as is known. Sheath 120 and actuation cable 24 extend from pivot receiving bracket rear wall 82 along upper frame member 35 towards caliper 30. Caliper actuation cable 24 continues toward the rear of the exerciser 20 to a termination point where it is operably connected to caliper 30, in a known manner. As will be discussed in greater detail below, movement of actuation cable 24 moves caliper 30 and any attached pads 31 either against or away from wheel 36 such that caliper 30 either clamps onto or releases wheel 36.
  • [0030]
    In the illustrated embodiment, a single caliper 30 is utilized in both braking and user applied resistance functions. In operation, if a user desires more resistance during his or her exercise, the user rotates the knob 72 in, for example, the clockwise direction. Rotation of knob 72 draws resistance adjustment cable 28 towards knob 72. The movement of resistance adjustment cable 28 is translated down cable 28 to swing plate 88, and pivots the swing plate 88 forward in a direction towards the handlebars 38 (FIGS. 4 and 5). As the swing plate 88 moves forward, the caliper actuation cable cradle 106 connected to the end of caliper actuation cable 24 is pulled forwardly along with the swing plate 88. As a result, caliper actuation cable 24 is drawn forward, thereby actuating caliper 30 located at its opposite end. The tightening or forward movement of caliper actuation cable 24 causes caliper and any attached resistance pads to clamp onto wheel 36, thereby increasing resistance. Alternatively, if the user desires to lessen the amount of resistance, the user rotates the knob 72 in the counterclockwise direction. Rotation in the counterclockwise direction loosens the resistance adjustment cable 28, thereby releasing the swing plate 88 which then moves rearwardly releasing the tension in caliper actuation cable 24, thereby at least partially releasing the caliper 30 and any attached pads from wheel 36 under the influence of a spring bias incorporated resistance adjustment knob 72 or in caliper 30, in a known manner. Thus, cable-type actuator assembly 22 allows a user to selectively control the amount of resistance applied to the wheel 30.
  • [0031]
    In a similar manner as described above, brake cable 26 can be utilized to actuate caliper 30. Actuation of hand brake 56 in a manner known in the art increases tension and draws brake cable 26 forward. The movement of brake cable 26 is translated through cable 26 to swing plate 88 and effectively pulls swing plate 88 forward in a direction towards the handlebars 38. As the swing plate 88 moves forwardly, the end of caliper actuation cable 24 is pulled forwardly along with the swing plate 88. As a result, caliper actuation cable 24 is drawn forward thereby actuating caliper 30 located as its opposite end. The tightening or forward movement of caliper actuation cable 24 causes caliper 30 and any attached resistance pads 31 to clamp around wheel 36, thereby performing a braking function on wheel 36. Upon release of the hand brake, a spring associated with hand brake 56, in a known manner, functions to move hand brake 56 back to its resting position, thereby loosening the brake cable 26 and releasing the swing plate 88. Swing plate 88 then moves rearwardly, which may be assisted by a spring bias incorporated into caliper 30, so as to release the tension in caliper actuation cable 24, thereby releasing the caliper 30 and any attached pads from wheel 36.
  • [0032]
    The orientation of the brake cable cradle 100 and the resistance adjustment cable cradle 98 may be varied. However, in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-5, the resistance adjustment cable cradle 98 is located above the brake cable cradle 100 at a distance further from the pivot pin 96. This construction is advantageous, in that the hand brake 56 has much more travel than the illustrated threaded resistance adjustment knob 72. Thus, the illustrated orientation allows the resistance adjustment knob 72 to take advantage of the greater distance of the resistance adjustment cable cradle 98 from the pivot point, relative to that of brake cable cradle 100, to reduce the number of turns required to adjust resistance.
  • [0033]
    Preferably, the components of the cable-type actuator assembly 22 are housed within a protective shroud 120 removably attached to the upper frame member 35 of the frame 32. In the illustrated embodiment, the protective shroud 120 is designed as a cradle configured to retain a water bottle (not shown).
  • [0034]
    FIGS. 6 and 7 illustrate a power measuring or sensing arrangement incorporated into cycling exerciser 20. In the illustrated embodiment, the power measuring or sensing arrangement is in the form of a power sensing hub 130 that functions to rotatably mount flywheel 36 of cycling exerciser 20 to frame 32. Power sensing hub 130 includes a sprocket 132 at one side, which is engaged with chain 55 so as to rotate hub 130, and thereby flywheel 36, in response to user operation of pedal assembly 51.
  • [0035]
    In the illustrated embodiment, power sensing hub 130 includes an inner torque tube 134 that is secured at one end to sprocket 132. Flywheel 36 includes an inner hub area 136, which defines a transverse passage through which inner torque tube 134 extends. Sprocket 132 is mounted to an adapter 138. An axle or spindle 140 extends transversely through adapter 138 and inner torque tube 134, and functions to mount flywheel 36 to frame 32, in a manner as is known. A pair of bearings 142 rotatably support inner torque tube 134 on axle or spindle 140. Inner torque tube 136 defines an annular outer flange 144 at the end opposite sprocket 132, which is mounted via screws 146 to inner hub area 136 of flywheel 36. A bearing 148 is located between inner torque tube 134 and the opposite end of inner hub area 136, to accommodate relative rotational movement between inner torque tube 134 and inner hub area 136.
  • [0036]
    A series of strain gauges are mounted to inner torque tube 134, and sense the strain in inner torque tube 134 during the transfer of rotary power from sprocket 132 to flywheel 36. In a manner as is known, the strain experienced by torque tube 134 corresponds to torque applied to torque tube 134 by the user through pedal assembly 51 and chain 55, which is used in combination with the speed of rotation of flywheel 36 to calculate input power. Such input power information can then be displayed in a real time manner to the user during operation of cycling exerciser 20, e.g. on a computer or other device mounted on the handlebars 38 or in any other satisfactory location on cycling exerciser 20. The real time power information can be compared during an exercise session to target or goal information input prior to the exercise session, or may simply be used by the user to track input power during the session. The power information may also be supplied to a memory, for use after an exercise session to analyze performance during the session and/or to plan future exercise or training sessions. During an exercise session, the real time power information may be used by the user to determine the desired resistance to be applied to flywheel 36 by the user-operated resistance control, in order to provide an exercise session having a desired amount of resistance during certain time periods of the session.
  • [0037]
    Power sensing hub 130 may have a construction as shown and described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,418,797 entitled Apparatus and Method for Sensing Power in a Bicycle, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference. Bicycle power sensing hubs of this type are available from Saris Cycling Group, Inc. of Madison, Wis. under the designation PowerTap.
  • [0038]
    While the power sensing feature of the present invention has been shown and described in connection with sensing power applied to rotating flywheel 36 in cycling exerciser 20, it is understood that the power sensing feature of the invention may be used in connection with a rotating member in any type of exercise device. For example, and without limitation, the power sensing function may be incorporated in an intermediate rotating member between the user power input and the resistance-providing member, e.g. the flywheel or other rotating member which supplies resistance or to which resistance is applied. In addition, while the invention has been shown and described in connection with resistance being applied to a flywheel, it is understood that resistance to the user power input may be provided in any part of the drive system that is driven in response to the input of power by the user. Resistance may be applied by a caliper-type resistance arrangement or any other frictional arrangement that acts on and resists rotation of a rotating member, or may be applied by a fluid, magnetic, wind or other known type of resistance-providing arrangement that is capable of providing a braking forced on a rotating member. The power sensing function may be provided in any type of exercise device that has a rotating member mounted via a hub that is rotated in response to the application of input power by a user, e.g. a rowing exerciser, a swim stroke exerciser, a stair climbing exerciser, an elliptical trainer, etc. The input power may be rotary input power, as in the pedal-type input as shown and described, or a linear power input, or any other type of user-operated input by which a user applies input power to an exercise device. The power sensing function may be accomplished using the torque tube-type power sensing hub arrangement as shown and described, or any other satisfactory type of power sensing arrangement that can be incorporated in a hub or other rotating member. The power sensing function may be accomplished at a rotating member that is driven by the user power input, e.g. in the bottom bracket of a pedal-type input wherein imparts rotation to a rotary power sensing device that is rotatably supported on the exerciser frame (a “bottom bracket” power sensing application). This is in contrast to prior art power sensing devices that sense input power using the pedal crank arms of a pedal-type input.
  • [0039]
    Various alternatives and modifications are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter regarded as the invention.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification482/63, 482/57
International ClassificationA63B22/06, A63B69/16
Cooperative ClassificationA63B21/4049, A63B21/00069, A63B21/22, A63B2220/54, A63B21/015, A63B22/0605
European ClassificationA63B22/08, A63B21/22
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
27 Dec 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: SARIS CYCLING GROUP, INC., WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LASSANSKE, TODD W.;AMBROSINA, JESSE E.;REEL/FRAME:016940/0293
Effective date: 20051222