Anticipate This!™ | Patent and Trademark Law Blog

They Invented What? (No. 76)

Posted in They Invented What? by Jake Ward on December 5, 2007

U.S. Pat. No. 5,707,114:  Vehicle wheel.

JW Note:  The spoked wheel . . . application filed in 1995.  Many thanks again to Michael Barclay for the submissions.

  wheel

What is claimed is:

1. A spoked wheel comprising:

an annular rim having an inner diameter;
a central hub;
a plurality of spokes running between the rim and hub, with each spoke having width to thickness ratio of at least 2:1, wherein said spokes have spoke portions including inside spoke portions in fixed relationship to the hub and outside spoke portions in fixed relationship to the rim, and wherein said spokes extend radially outwardly between the hub and rim;
an encircling member affixed to at least one of the inside and outside spoke portions and included with at least one of the annular rim and the central hub, said encircling member defining a hollow annulus;
a fastener for affixing said spokes to said encircling member including two leg members extending in substantially the same direction, wherein said leg members are attached via an intermediate portion substantially traversing said direction and said fastener extending from at least one of said inside spoke portion and said outside spoke portion of at least one of said plurality of spokes and into said hollow annulus, wherein said fastener is attached to said at least one of said plurality of spokes and said leg members are directed toward said encircling member; and
means for adjusting the tension of said spokes connected with said spokes.

2. The vehicle wheel according to claim 1, wherein said fastener is substantially U-shaped.

3. The vehicle wheel according to claim 1, wherein said fastener is substantially V-shaped.

4. The vehicle wheel according to claim 1, wherein said fastener is substantially semi-circular in shape.

5. The vehicle wheel according to claim 1, wherein said fastener is substantially semi-oval in shape.

6. The spoked wheel according to claim 1, wherein said fastener affixes said spokes to said encircling member at least at two spaced locations.

7. A spoked wheel comprising:

an annular rim having an inner diameter;
a central hub;
a plurality of spokes running between the rim and hub, with each spoke having width to thickness ratio of at least 2:1, wherein said spokes have spoke portions including inside spoke portions in fixed relationship to the hub and outside spoke portions in fixed relationship to the rim, and wherein said spokes extend radially outwardly between the hub and rim and at least two of said spokes are integrally connected forming a singular member extending substantially across the inner diameter of said rim;
an encircling member affixed to at least one of the inside and outside spoke portions and included with at least one of the annular rim and the central hub, said encircling member defining a hollow annulus;
fastening means adjacent said hollow annulus for affixing said spokes to said encircling member; and
means for adjusting the tension of said spokes connected with said spokes.

8. The spoked wheel according to claim 7, wherein said singular member includes an intermediate portion positioned adjacent said hub for connecting said singular member to said hub.

9. The spoked wheel according to claim 7, wherein said singular member includes two ends adjacent said rim, and wherein said fastening means comprises each of said two ends including a fastener for fastening said at least two spokes forming said singular member to said encircling member.

10. The spoked wheel according to claim 9, wherein said fastener is a substantially U-shaped fastener.

11. The spoked wheel according to claim 9, wherein said fastener is a substantially V-shaped fastener.

12. The spoked wheel according to claim 9, wherein said fastener is a substantially semi-circular shaped fastener.

13. The spoked wheel according to claim 9, wherein said fastener is a substantially oval-shaped fastener.

14. The spoked wheel according to claim 9, wherein at least one of said at least two spokes forming said singular member is affixed to said encircling member in at least two spaced locations.

15. The spoked wheel according to claim 9, wherein said outside spoke portion of at least one spoke of said at least two spokes of said singular member includes an enlarged head portion which extends into the hollow annulus and affixes said at least one spoke to the encircling member.

16. The spoked wheel according to claim 9, wherein said encircling member includes a depending flange to which said fastener is adapted to attach at least two spokes of said singular member.

17. The spoked wheel according to claim 9, wherein said outside spoke portion of at least one of said at least two spokes of said singular member includes a cover affixed thereto, said fastener attached to and extending from the cover to the means adjacent the hollow annulus for affixing the at least one spoke to the encircling member, wherein said cover is positioned between said at least one spoke and said encircling member.

18. The spoked wheel according to claim 9, wherein said outside spoke portion of at least one of said at least two spokes of said singular member includes an insert positioned therein, said faster extending from the insert to the means adjacent the hollow annulus for affixing the at least one of said at least two spokes to the encircling member, wherein the insert is positioned between said at least one spoke and said encircling member.

19. The spoked wheel according to claim 9, wherein said annulus includes at least one depending slot adapted to receive and which engages an enlarged head portion of said outside spoke portion of at least one of said at least two spokes of said singular member for affixing said at least one spoke to the encircling member, wherein said slot substantially limits pivoting of said at least one spoke in a direction parallel to said width.

20. The spoked wheel according to claim 7, including two overlapping singular members centrally positioned on said hub at an angle relative to each other on each side of said central hub.

21. The spoked wheel according to claim 7, wherein said fastening means affixes said spokes to said encircling member at least at two spaced locations.

22. A spoked wheel comprising:

an annular rim having an inner diameter;
a central hub;
a plurality of spokes running between the rim and hub, with each spoke having a width to thickness ratio of at least 2:1, wherein said spokes have spoke portions including inside spoke portions in fixed relationship to the hub and outside spoke portions in fixed relationship to the rim, and wherein said spokes extend radially outwardly between the hub and rim wherein said plurality of spokes are arranged to form a first and a second wheel half;
an encircling member affixed to the outside spoke portions and included with the annular rim, said encircling member defining a hollow annulus;
fastening means adjacent said hollow annulus for affixing said spokes to said encircling member; and
means for adjusting the tension of the spokes connected with said spokes.

23. The spoked wheel according to claim 22, wherein said fastening means comprises a substantially U-shaped fastener connected to an end of said outside spoke portion.

24. The spoked wheel according to claim 22, wherein said fastening means comprises a substantially V-shaped fastener connected to an end of said outside spoke portion.

25. The spoked wheel according to claim 22, wherein said fastening means comprises a substantially semi-circular shaped fastener connected to an end of said outside spoke portion.

26. The spoked wheel according to claim 22, wherein said fastening means is a substantially oval-shaped fastener connected to an end of said outside spoke portion.

27. The spoked wheel according to claim 22, wherein said spokes are affixed to said encircling member via said fastening means in at least two spaced locations.

28. The spoked wheel according to claim 22, wherein said fastening means comprise said outside spoke portion of at least one of said spokes having an enlarged head portion which extends into the hollow annulus and affixes said at least one of said spokes to the encircling member.

29. The spoked wheel according to claim 22, wherein said encircling member has a depending flange to which said fastening means is adapted to affix at least one of said spokes.

30. The spoked wheel according to claim 22, wherein said outside spoke portion of at least one of said spokes includes a cover affixed thereto, said fastening means attached to and extending from the cover to said hollow annulus for affixing the at least one spoke to the encircling member, wherein said cover is positioned between said at least one spoke and said encircling member.

31. The spoked wheel according to claim 21, wherein said outside spoke portion of at least one of said spokes includes an insert positioned therein, said fastening means extending from the insert to the hollow annulus for affixing said at least one spoke to the encircling member, wherein the insert is positioned between said at least one spoke and said encircling member.

32. The spoked wheel according to claim 22, wherein said annulus includes at least one depending slot adapted to receive and which engages an enlarged head portion of said outside spoke portion of at least one of said spokes for affixing said at least one of said spokes to the encircling member, wherein said slot substantially limits pivoting of said at least one spoke in a direction parallel to said width.

33. The spoked wheel according to claim 22, wherein said fastening means includes additional means for adjusting the tension of said spokes.

34. The spoked wheel according to claim 22, wherein said means for tensioning comprises a spacer adapted to push said first and second wheel halves apart for tensioning said spokes.

35. The spoked wheel according to claim 22, wherein said fastening means affixes said spokes to said encircling member at least at two spaced locations.

36. A spoked wheel comprising:

an annular rim having an inner diameter;
a central hub;
a plurality of spokes running between the rim and the central hub, with each spoke having width to thickness ratio of at least 2:1, wherein said spokes have spoke portions including inside spoke portions in fixed relationship to the central hub and outside spoke portions in fixed relationship to the rim, and wherein said spokes extend radially outwardly between the central hub and rim;
a primary encircling member included with at least one of the annular rim and the central hub, said primary encircling member defining a hollow annulus;
a secondary encircling member affixed to at least one of said outside spoke portions and said inside spoke portions, wherein said secondary encircling member is engaged with said primary encircling member;
fastening means for affixing said spokes to said secondary encircling member; and
means for tensioning the spokes connected with said spokes.

37. The spoked wheel according to claim 36, wherein said secondary encircling member is connected to said outside spoke portions of said spokes.

38. The spoked wheel according to claim 37, wherein said secondary encircling member is substantially external to the hollow annulus and the primary encircling member and integrally connects said spokes at said outside spoke portion.

39. The spoked wheel according to claim 38, wherein said means for tensioning is positioned adjacent said inside spoke portions.

40. The spoked wheel according to claim 36, wherein said secondary encircling member is substantially external to the hollow annulus and the primary encircling member and conforms to said primary encircling member.

41. The spoked wheel according to claim 40, wherein said secondary encircling member is adhered to said primary encircling member.

42. The spoked wheel according to claim 36, wherein said fastening means affixes said spokes to said encircling member at least at two spaced locations.

43. A spoked wheel comprising:

an annular rim having an inner diameter;
a central hub;
a plurality of spokes running between the rim and the central hub, with each spoke having width to thickness ratio of at least 2:1, wherein said spokes have spoke portions including inside spoke portions in fixed relationship to the central hub and outside spoke portions in fixed relationship to the rim, and wherein said spokes extend radially outwardly between the central hub and rim wherein said plurality of spokes are arranged in opposing pairs, said opposing pairs joined together at a joint at said outside spoke portions and including ends extending from said joint which form an engaging surface;
an encircling member affixed to at least one of the annular rim and central hub and included with at least one of the annular rim and the central hub, said encircling member defining a hollow annulus wherein said engaging surface of each of said opposing pairs of spokes engages said encircling member;
fastening means adjacent said hollow annulus for affixing said spokes to said encircling member; and
means for adjusting the tension of the spokes connected with said spokes.

44. The spoked wheel according to claim 43, wherein said engaging surface conforms in shape to said encircling member.

45. The spoked wheel according to claim 44, wherein said engaging surface is adhered to said encircling member and said encircling member is an outside encircling member.

46. The spoked wheel according to claim 43, wherein said ends extend angularly from said joint, forming said engaging surface in a V-shape for engaging said encircling member.

47. The spoked wheel according to claim 43, wherein said fastening means affixes said spokes to said encircling member at least at two spaced locations.

48. A spoked wheel comprising:

an annular rim having an inner diameter;
a central hub;
a plurality of spokes running between the rim and hub, with each spoke having width to thickness ratio of at least 2:1, wherein said spokes have spoke portions including inside spoke portions in fixed relationship to the hub and outside spoke portions in fixed relationship to the rim, and wherein said spokes extend radially outwardly between the hub and rim;
an encircling member affixed to at least one of the inside and outside spoke portions and included with at least one of the annular rim and the central hub, said encircling member defining a hollow annulus;
fastening means adjacent said hollow annulus for affixing said spokes to said encircling member; and
means for adjusting the tension of said spokes connected with said spokes.

49. The spoked wheel according to claim 48, wherein said fastening means affixes said spokes to said encircling member at least at two spaced locations.

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