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1. (WO2018225098) SADDLE FOR CYCLES
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The Present invention relates to a Saddle For Cycles.

In particular, this invention relates to a bicycle saddle, whose aspects and ergonomics are easily adaptable to the contingent needs of the User.

Nowadays, in the field of equipments for cycling, it is known to provide saddles having very different structures for specific use based on what they are destined.

For example saddles for competitions are provided, for which an optimization of ergonomics and lightness is the pursued goal, and saddles of daily use, for which an optimization of comfort and aesthetics is pursued as a function of the target price range.

It is therefore clear that nowadays each saddle is appropriately destined for a specific use.

The problem underlying the present invention is to allow modification of the features of a saddle and/or its aesthetics without requesting a substitute.

Principal aim of the present invention consists of realizing a saddle for cycles which poses solution to such problem resolving the inconvenient drawbacks of saddles for cycles described above.

Within the purview of same aim, it is the scope of the present invention to propose a saddle for cycles which permits to be rapidly adapted to different conditions of use.

Another scope of the present invention is to provide a saddle for cycles which is compact and light, whose comfort and / or ergonomic can be easily modified.

Another object of the invention is to propose a saddle for cycles whose structure is simple and stable even in conditions of use of the saddle to perform agonistic activity or in any case such as to subject the same, to intense and / or prolonged mechanical stresses.

A further object of the invention is to provide a saddle for cycles which allows to easily substitute the parts, of the same, most subject to wear or usage, ensuring a durable functionality of the saddle as a whole.

A more further object of the invention is to propose a saddle for cycles which allows to reduce the cost of replacement of the part most subjected to wear or usage.

A much further object of the invention is to provide a saddle for cycles which allows to reduce the environmental impact of the production and management of the same, by limiting the amount of parts intended to be replaced during the life duration of the saddle.

This aim, as well as these objects and others which will become apparent hereinafter are achieved by a saddle for cycles according to claim 1 attached hereto.

Detailed characteristics of the saddle for cycles according to the invention are disclosed in the dependent claims.

Further characteristics and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the description of a preferred a form of implementation, but not exclusive of the saddle for cycles according to the invention, illustrated only by way of non-limitative example in the accompanying drawings, in which:

- Figure 1 illustrates A Saddle For Cycles According to the present Invention in the Perspective exploded view;

- Figure 2 illustrates A Saddle For Cycles According to the present invention in Partially Perspective exploded view;

- Figures 3 and 4 illustrate the saddle of Figures 1 and 2 cycles assembled and in Perspective view from above and from below respectively;

- Figures 5 and 6 illustrate a variant of the saddle for cycles of figures from 1 to 4, Lifted view, in side view and perspective view from below respectively;

- Figure 7 illustrates a detail of the saddle of the previous figures, relative to a connector of the body covering, in sectioned Perspective and exploded view;

- Figure 8 illustrates a variant of the saddle for cycles of Figures 5 and 6 schematized.

With particular reference to the above figures, with numeral 10 is generally indicated a saddle for cycles which comprises:

- a support 11 for connection to a bicycle frame;

- a rigid frame 12 to support the weight of a user;

- a deformable cover 13 having an upper face 13a suitable to be engaged by the pelvic area of a user.

A saddle 10 according to the present invention has a particular peculiarity, in that it comprises fastening means operable to fasten the cover 13 to the frame 12 or to remove it from the previous mentioned, being the cover 13 replaceable and the cover 13 having a lower face 13b which, in use, is placed on a support face 12a of the frame 12 to be supported by the previous.

To render the interchanging of the cover 13 easy, the fastening means comprise connectors 14 having a male element 14a fixable to the cover 13 and a female element 14b fixable to the frame 12.

Preferably, the cover 13 is composed at least by:

- a central body 131 , advantageously made of a cushioning material such as polyurethane;

- a covering element 132, abrasion-resistant material and preferably impermeable, that encases the superior part of the central body 131 and which is adapted to come into contact with the user;

- a structural element 133, preferably made of rigid plastic material, adapted to support the male elements 14a of the connectors 14 and fastened to the inferior part of the central body 131.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, which is particularly compact and efficient, the male element 14a is equipped with a base 15 and a stem 16 which extends perpendicularly to the base 15 and that has a thickened clamping end 17.

Mutually, the female element 14b has:

- an open cavity 18 adapted to receive the clamping end 17, and

- a resilient retaining means configured such that if the clamping end 17 is inserted in the cavity 18, the retaining means impede the extraction of the clamping end 17 from the cavity 18, if the force exerted between them to separate them is less than a predefined force threshold.

Preferably, for structural simplicity, the retaining means are made with wires or metal tabs that are elastically deformable.

The frame 12 preferably develops mainly in an anteroposterior direction A and has a front supporting element 20 and two rear support elements 21 , 22 that reciprocally mirror each other with respect to the anteroposterior direction A.

In this case, the support 11 comprises two branches 23, 24 which extend from a central zone 11c so as to form a V, in plan view.

The front supporting element 20 of the frame 12 is fixed to the central zone 11c of the support 11 and the rear support elements 21 , 22 of the frame 12 are each fixed to a free end 123, 124 of a correspondent branch 23, 24 of the support 11.

To ensure optimum structural stability, preferably the frame 12 is fixed in a monolithic manner to the support 11 , advantageously by gluing.

To allow high comfort level of the saddle 10, preferably the rear support elements 21 , 22 are separated by a slit B and are joined to the front support element 20 by elastically yielding stretches configured in such a way as to deform elastically, in use, to open wide the rear support elements 21 , 22 so as to dampen the weight of a user who seats on the saddle 10.

A further peculiarity that allows to increase the comfort of the saddle 10 consists in that, preferably, each of the two branches 23, 24 has two sections 23a, 23b and 24a, 24b which are opposed with respect to an intermediate concavity between them so as to achieve a arcuate structure, elastically yielding to dampen, in use, the load exerted by a user.

To optimize the comfort of the saddle 10 in relation to the current conditions of use of the saddle 10 and to the user's needs, the saddle 10 comprises a tensioning device 26 that interconnects the two sections 23a, 23b and 24a, 24b of each of the branches 23, 24 and operable to adjust the stiffness of the branches 23, 24.

Preferably, the tensioning device 26 comprises a tension wheel 26a, rotatably fixed to the central zone 25 of the support 11 and two rods 26b and 26c fixed to the branches 23 and 24 to exert a tension between the sections 23a, 23b and 24a, 24b adjustable by means of the tensioning wheel 26a, so as to define a pre-load force of the branches 23 and 24.

Figure 4 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the saddle 10 as described so far which differs from this solely in that it comprises, advantageously, connecting elements 28, projecting downwards from the frame 12 and engaged by the rods 26b and 26c by sliding to guide the latter and cooperate with the latter to transmit mechanical tension between the sections 23a, 23b and 24a, 24b.

Greater stability and structural strength, is obtained preferably by providing the connectors 14 preferably have one of the male or female elements fixed to the support 11.

According to the present invention, the saddle 10 comprises means to counteract the sliding of the lower face 13b of the cover 3 on the support face 12a of the frame 12, which preferably comprises at least one adhesive layer 27 fixed to the lower face 13b of the cover 13 and to the support face 12a to hold them to each another.

The adhesive layer 27 preferably has only one face that is adhesive.

Advantageously, the adhesive layers 27 are made from a membrane of silicone material with surfaces shaped so as to confer upon them a high mechanical adhesion at the external surfaces.

Such adhesive layers 27, more in general, may be of elastomeric material preferably with a hardness less than 80 Shore A.

A thickness of the adhesive layers 27 which is found to be optimal for the lightness of the saddle 10 and the cohesion of the components, it is advantageously between 0.5 and 4 mm.

In preferred forms of implementation, the frame 12 and/or the support 11 have protection edges 121 , 122 and 123 which, when the saddle 10 is in use, project with respect to the cover 13 for shielding the latter from contact with foreign bodies.

In particular, these protective edges protrude from the rear support elements 21 and 22 in transversal direction to the anteroposterior direction A so that, in use, if the cycle on which the saddle 10 is installed, it is placed on a vertical support, the protective edges define a seating portion of the saddle 10 at such vertical support interposing between this and the cover 13.

In a form of implementation of the saddle 10 particularly light and of simple construction, the cover 13 is in a foamy polymeric material, advantageously with open cells, and preferably in polyurethane or ethyl-vinyl acetate.

Preferably, the cover 13 has a supporting surface for users, resistant to abrasion due to usage even during athletic or competitive activity and advantageously covered with polyurethane coated microfiber fabric.

The frame 12 and/or the support 11 are preferably made of composite material comprising carbon fiber.

It is observed that the present invention achieves the intended aim and the tasks.

In particular, thanks to the means to counteract the sliding of the cover on the frame, it constitute a modular sandwich structure/decomposable in composite materials with stiffness characteristics superior to the individual elements and with better mechanical properties of the elements themselves and with the vibration damping characteristics thanks to the elastomeric interface that prevents the passage of the vibrations especially that transmitted from the frame at high frequencies and frequencies near to their materials used to make the frame and the base for the cover.

This sandwich structure that can be assembled / disassembled formed, thanks to the fastening means and means to counteract the sliding cover / frame allows the replacement of individual parts, offering the advantages in that:

- It is easy to replace part of the cover that is prone to degradation or wear,

- It is easy to adapt to the specific user's need in size and shape of the saddle without replacing the complete saddle with an economic advantage and the use of fewer environmental resources.

The invention thus conceived is susceptible to numerous modifications and variants, all falling within the protective scope of the appended claims. Moreover, all the details may be replaced with other technically equivalent elements.

In practice, the materials employed, as well as the shapes and the dimensions, may be varied depending on the contingent requirements and state of the art.

Where the constructional characteristics and techniques mentioned in the following claims are followed by reference signs or numbers, such signs and reference numbers they have been applied with the sole purpose of increasing the intelligibility of the claims and consequently, they do not constitute in any way limiting the interpretation of each element identified, purely by way of example, by such signs and reference numbers.