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Publication numberUS425390 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date8 Apr 1890
Publication numberUS 425390 A, US 425390A, US-A-425390, US425390 A, US425390A
InventorsCharles D. Rice
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 425390 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

(No Model.)' 2 Sheets-Sheet 1. G. D. RICE.


No. 425,390. Patented Apr. 8, 1890.

WIIA/Z'SSES (No Model.) I 2 Stieets-Sheet 2.

U. D. RIG-E.

BICYCLE. No. 425,390. Patented Apr. 8, 1890.



SPECIFICATION forming part of Letters Patent No. 425,390, dated April 8, 1890.

Application filed February 6; 1890.

tion of the invention, such as will enable others skilled in the art to which it appertains to make and use the same.

My invention has for its object to provide a simple, durable, and inexpensive driving mechanism for bicycles which shall be so con structed as to make the driving-pulley selfadjusting to compensate for changes in the resistance to forward movement of the machine-that is to say, I so construct and or- 'anize the parts that Without movement or b eifort on cally increased at the expense of a reduction in speed when ever heavy roads or inclines are met in riding. I am thus enabled to obtain a much higher rate of speed upon firm level ground than has heretofore been possible, and at the same time reduce the speed automatically and apply much greater power to hill climbing and riding upon heavy roads than has been possible with any machine heretofore produced. These results I accomplish by the use, in connection with abelt to transmit power, of a yielding self-adjusting driving-pulley.

gist of my invention lies, broadly, in the use in this connection of a yielding driving-pu1- ley, and that the special construction of the pulley -that is, the special manner in which it is made to adjust itself to the difierent requirements of light and heavy roads-is not of the essence of my invention. I have therefore shown several diiferent constructions of pulleys, all of which accomplish the desired result in a practical and satisfactory manner.

In order that others may fully understand my invention and the manner of its use, I will proceed to describe the same in detail, referring by numbers to the accompanying drawings, forming part of this specification, in which- Figure 1 is a side elevation of a bicycle with my novel driving mechanism applied the part of the rider the power avaib able to drive the machine shall be automati- It should be understood that the Serial No. 339,474. (No model.)

the machine illustrated being of the Victor type, although it will of course be understood that my invention is equally applicable to any of the various so-called Safety machines now upon the market; Fig. 2, a side elevation, on an enlarged scale, of the driving mechanism detached; Fig. 3, an end elevation; and

Fig. i, a vertical section of the drivingpulley, sleeve, &c., the axle and cranks being shown in elevation, and the pulley being in the normal-that is, the closed position, as when in use upon a comparatively level smooth road; Fig. 5, a view corresponding with cept that the driving-pulley is shown in the open position-that is, as when its diameter is decreased to increase the power in overcoming resistance to forward movement of the machine; Fig. 6, a section of the driven pulley and. hub of the rear wheel, this pulley being preferably made adjustable, but not self-adjusting; Fig. 7 ,a view corresponding with Fig. 2, showing a different style of driving-pulley, and also showing the springcontrolled idler operating in a slightly-difierent manner; Fig. 7,a vertical section of the driving-wheel in Fig. 7, said wheel consisting simply of two spring-disks; Fig. 8, a side elevation of still another form of driving-pulley, in which the link principle, in combination with a spring,is applied to make the drivingpulley self-adjusting; Fig. 9, a central section and an edge view, respectively, in the open and closed position, illustrating the construction and operation of the driving-pulley shown in Fig. 8; and Fig. 10, a vertical section and edge view illustrating still another form of driving-pulley, in which the cam principle is applied to make the driving-pulley self-adjusting in connection with a spring not shown in said figure, but the same in general arrangement as that shown in Fig. 8.

1 denotes the frame-work of the bicycle, which may be of any ordinary or preferred construction, as it is equally adapted to all of the various machines upon the market; 2,the front wheel; 3, the rear wheel; a, the drivlug-axle, and 5 the cranks.

Instead of using sprocket-wheels upon the driving-axle and rear axle, as has heretofore been the almost universal custom in Safety bicycles, I use pulleys having V -shaped grooves upon both of said axles and transmit Fig. 4, 6251- 'iCO 1 edges-inclined toward each other to correspond with the V-shaped grooves in the driving and driven pulleys,the engagement of the belt with the pulleys being wholly with its edges.

The driving-pulley as a whole I denote by 7. It consists of two disks,"which are so conder certain circumstances in use, so as to permit the wedge-shaped belt to move inward, thereby lessening the actual operative diameter of the driving-pulley, which necessarily acts to reduce the speed of the machine and to greatly increase the power that the rider is able to apply to the driven axle. The driving-axle is journaled in a suitable bracket .8 upon some rigid portion of the framework of the machine.

Inthe form illustrated in Figs. 1 to 5, inclusive, the disks of which the driving-pulley is composed are preferably stamped up from heavy sheet metal, although of course the special metal used is, unimportant so far as the principles of my invention are concerned. In this form one of the disks is rigidly secured to a collar 9, which is itself rigidly secured to the driving-axle, and the other is rigidly secured to a collar 10 on a sleeve 11, which is secured to the driving-axle by a pin 12, which passes through a hole in the axle with a drive fit, and through and beyond slots 13 in opposite sides of the sleeve, so that the sleeve must at all times rotate with the axle, although the axle, the disk attached directly thereto, and the cranks are permitted to move longitudinally, under certain circumstances presently to be explained, independently of the sleeve. The sleeve is held against endwise movement by screw-threaded collars 14, which engage corresponding screw-threads upon the sleeve, the curved inclines of the ball-bearings being formed, respectively, in said sleeve and collars, as clearly shown in Fig. 4. The disks of the driving-pulley are normally held approximately in contact, as shown in Figs. 3 and 4, by means of a spring 16, one end of which bears against the ends of pin 12, which extend outward beyond the sleeve and the other end against a collar 15- 011 the sleeve, said collar being threaded to engage the sleeve and being held securely in position bythe pressure of the spring. Should it berequired at any time to change the adjustment of this springt-hat is, so that more or less power would be required to separate the disks of the driving-pulleyit may be done by shifting this collar upon the sleeve.

The operation of this portion of my invention is as follows: It will be seen that when increased resistance to forward movement of the machine is encountered it will first affect the driven axle and will cause the belt to drag sition.

on the driving-axle. The rider at this instant will naturally apply additional power to the driving-axle and driving-pulley to overcome the resistance. The combined effect of the increase of resistance to the rotation of the driven pulley and consequent drag of the belt, and the additional power applied to the driving-pulley to overcome the resistance, will be to overcome to a greater or less extent the power of spring 16, which holds the disks on the driving-axle together, thereby causing the belt to passinward farther between the disks structed as to yield outward or separate unand lessening the actual operative diameter of the driving-disk an amount determined by the excess of power applied to the drivingdisk by the rider over the'power of spring 16.

It will of course be understood that this spring is so adjusted that in use under ordinary circumstances, as when running upon level ground or when the resistance is slight, the power of the spring will be quite sutlicienttoovercome the tendency of the belt to wedge the disks apart, and consequently the normal diameter of the pulley will be maintained.

The instant the resistance to forward movement of the machine diminishes the rider naturally exerts less power upon the cranks. The tendency, therefore, is for the belt to move outward again, which permits spring 16 to force the movable disk back to its normal po- The driving-pulley is thus made selfadjusting to the work required.

' In practice I find no difficultyin varying the speed from forty-five to sixty inches forward movement for each' revolution of the crank. It is of course well known that ordinary Safety bicycles are speeded to fifty-four inches forward movement for each revolution of the crank, a fifty-seven-inch gearing being occasionally used. A gearing of sixty inches forward movement, and even more, has been tried. The result has been, however, that there has been such a sacrifice of power as to render it difficult to force the machine up ordi-.

nary grades, and, on the other hand, gearings giving but fifty inches forward movement, and even less, 'have'been tried. These 'low gearings give greater power, but at such a sacrifice of speed as to render the machine unsatisfactory for general use. My improvement, however, renders the driving-pulley self-adjusting to correspond with the resist ance to be overcome. I thus with a single simple mechanism obtain greatly-increased speed, except upon grades and heavy roads,

and greatly-increased power when resistance is met with. In the form just described the driving-shaft itself moveslaterally,carrying one of the disks with it, the hub of the crank serving as a stop to limit the movement. (See at the right in Fig. 5.)

In Figs. 7 and '7 I have shown a style of self-adj usting driving-pulley in which the sleeve'and spring are dispensed with, two.

spring-disks being used in lieu of a rigid disk and a spring-actuated disk.

two disks are rigidly bolted between two col- In this form the IIO lars1'7, the outer edges of the disks them-' selves springing outward-that is, separating-when the resistance to rotation of the driven axle, and the consequent drag of the belt on the driving-pulley, has caused the;

rider to increase the power applied to drive the machine sufficiently to overcome the spring action of the disks. In Figs. 8 and 9 the two disks are preferably cast, although may be made of sheet metal, if preferred. One of the disks is provided with a hub 18, which is rigidly secured to the axle, and with brackets 19, carrying rollers 20. The other disk is provided with a circular opening 21' they of just sufficient size to receive rollers 20, so

that this disk will turn on said rollers independently of the axle and the other disk. The two disks are connected together by links 22, ing pivoted to the respective disks. The disks are held at their normal position by means of a spring 16, the ends of which are attached to the disks, respectively,the action being to draw them toward each other, the

links turning obliquely and lying in suitable.

sockets 23 in the disks, the normal or closed position of the disks being shown at the right in Fig. 9 and the open position at the left in said figure. In this form, when increased power is applied to the driving-pulley to overcome resistance to forward movement of the machine, the action of the belt is to crowd the loose disk away from the fixed disk. This is accomplished by rotating the loose disk slightly upon rollers against the power of spring 16, said disk being free to separate,

provided the strain upon the belt is great enough to overcome the power of the spring to the full length of the linksthat is, until the links lie straight across between the disks, as at the left in Fig. 9. As soon as the excess of power upon the cranks is relieved the belt will move outward again, and the spring will act to rotate the loose disk backward, and the links will fall back obliquely into the sockets 23, in which they lie.

The form illustrated in Fig. 10 is somewhat similar to that illustrated in Figs. 8 and 9. The spring employed in this form, and which is not shown in the drawings, is just the same as in Fig. 8. In this form the loose disk is provided with cams 24, which are adapted to slide into recesses 25 in the fixed disk when the disks are at their normal position, as at the right in Fig. 10. The cams are provided with slots 26 and pins 27, driven through the solid material of the fixed disk, and the slots in the cam limit the outward movement of the loose disk and prevent the disks from being disconnectedunder anycircumstances. The operation in this form is precisely the same as in the form last described.

28 denotes the driven pulley, which is rigidly secured to the hub 30 of the rear wheel, which is j ournaled on an axle 29, rigidly secured in the frame -work of the machine. The driven pulleyI do not make self-adjustthe opposite ends of said links being, but preferably make it in two parts, so

that it may be readily adjusted. These parts are denoted, respectively, (see Fig. 6,) by 28 and 28. One of these parts (see 28) maybe made integral with the hub, as shown in the drawings, or, if preferred, may be made separate and secured thereto in any suitable manner. The outer end of the hub is screwthreaded, and the other disk (see 28 is provided with a threadedhub engaging therewith. This disk may be fixed at any desired adjustment relatively to the other disk and locked there by set-screws 3 l, passing through the hub of the rear wheel, or, if preferred, by set-screws (not shown) passing through the hub of the loose disk. This adjustment of the driven disk I use when, for any reasonas, for instance, along run upon a smooth road, or possibly in racing-it is desired to obtain even a greater amount of speed than is possible upon a smooth road with the ordinary adjustment. It will be apparent that the principle is the same as with the drivingdisk, except that when the disks'are moved apart, thereby reducing the operative diameter of the driven disk, the result is an increase in speed, instead of an increase of power, as in the former instance. It will of course be apparent that when the diameter of the driving-disk is reduced, as when overcoming increased resistance to forward movement of the machine or when the diameter of the driven disk is reduced to give increased speed, the belt will be slackened, and consequently would run loosely and lose power unless the slack was taken up. In order to take up the slack of the belt to give increased hold upon the driven pulley, and also to enable me to dispense with belt-adjusting mechanism, I provide an idler 32, carried by an arm 33, which is free to turn on the rear axle. The exact details of construction of these portions of my invention may of course be varied greatly without departing from the principle thereof.

The construction of my preferred form is clearly illustrated in Fig. 2, taken in connection with Fig. 6. Arm 33 is rigidly secured to a collar 34:, which turns freely on the axle, this collar being on the inner side of the side piece of the frame-work, which I have de noted specifically by 1. The idler is kept continually in contact with the belt by means of a spring 35, acting against the arm by which the idler is carried. One end of this spring in my preferred form is connected to collar 34: (see Fig. 2) and the other end to an arm 36, the inner end of which is enlarged, (see dotted lines, Fig. 2,) and is provided with an -opening through which the rear axle passes. Outside of this arm is a plate 37, which is provided at its lower end with an inwardly-turned lug 38, against which arm 33 rests, and which acts as a'stop to limit the downward movement thereof. In order to provide a ready adjustment for this stop, I provide a curved slot 39 in said plate and lock it at any desired adjustment by means of ai bolt a0, passing through the slot and engaging side piece 1 of the frame-work. I

Arm 36 and plate 37 are locked in position on the axle by the usual nut 41. Should it be desired to adjust the tension of the spring, it is simply necessary to loosen nut 41 and, move arm 36 in either direction, as may be? required. To adjust plate 37 it is necessary to loosen both nut 41 andbolt 40. The partsj are locked in position after adjustment by f tightening the nut or bolt or the bolt alone, :5 as may be. In the form shown in Fig. 7 the! stop for arm 33 is dispensed with, and the arm? and idler are held in operative position by a ooil-spring42, one end of which is connected to said arm and the other to any suitable portion of the frame-work of the machine. j,

As already stated, I preferably use tllQOOIl-f; struction illustrated in Figs. 2 and 6 for the} reason that the parts are inexpensive to p'roduce, the spring is wholly out of'the way, and adjustments are provided to regulate the tenj sion of the spring and the oscillation of the arm carrying the idler.

Having thus described my invention, I; claim 1 1. The combination, with the driven pulley} of a bicycle, of a self-adj usting two-part driving-pulley and a belt connecting said pu-lleys,f whereby when resistance to forward movement is met and power is applied to overcome it the strain of the belt upon the driving pulley will cause the parts thereof to separate and the belt to move inward, thereby reducing the operative diameter of thedriving pulley, so that the power is increased with a consequent loss of speed.

2. The combination, With the driven pulley of a bicycle, of a driving-pulley made in two parts, a belt connecting said pulleys, and means, as spring-power applied to said disks, to hold them normally together, but adapted to yield and permit the disks to separate when V the power applied to overcome resistance to for-ward movement causes the strain'of the belt to overcome the spring-power ofthedisks.

overcome resistance, and a wedge shaped belt 3. Th'ecomb'inatiomwith the driven Jpulley of a bicycle, of a driving-1pulleyconsisting of if two disks, one of "-whichis loose on the shaft,

a belt connecting said pulleys, and a spring acting to hold the disks together under normal conditions, but-to yield to allow the disks to separate and thebelt to move inward when a certain-amount of power is applied to overcome resistance to forward movement.

4. The combination, with the driven pulley of a'bicycle, of adriving-pulley having a V- shaped groove in its periphery, said pulleys consisting of two disks, one of which is loose on the shaft, a spring acting under normal conditions "to hold said .disks togetliier, but

yielding and allowing the disks to separate when "a certain amount-of power is applied to 5 connecting said pulleys.

5. The "combination, in a bicycle, of a driven.

.p'ulley having a 'V-shaped'groove, a twowpart driving-pulley, also having a V-shaped groove, one of said parts being,,'loos'e on the axle, a

. 7Q spring actingto hold said parts normally togethe'r, and-wedge=shaped belt connecting,

said pulleys.

6. The combination, with the driving and driven'pulleys of a bicycle and "a belt connecting-s'aid apnlleys, of an idler acting to take up the slack o'f'the belt, and a spring acting to hold said 'idler'in operative position.

7. 'lhe 'conibinatiom'with the driving and driven pulleys of a. bicycle and a belt con- "ne'ctin-g said Epulleys, of an idler carried by an arm depending from the rear axle, "an

adjustable plate having a lug acting-as a stop for said .arm,*an adjustable arm 36, and a spring, one endof which is connected 'to arm 36 and the other'to the'a'rmcarrying the idler, whereby the latter is held in operative po s i s .tion. In testimony whereof I afiix mysignature in presence-of two witnesses.




Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2491745 *7 Oct 194620 Dec 1949Locke Burton HVariable-speed drive
US2938395 *5 Sep 195731 May 1960Royalty Holding CorpBelt tension pulley
US3972244 *13 May 19753 Aug 1976B.E. Industries, Inc.Variable drive bicycle transmission
US4099737 *27 Apr 197711 Jul 1978Dayco CorporationBicycle belt drive system
US20060091639 *17 Oct 20054 May 2006Dearborn David DDrive mechanism for pedal powered vehicles
DE1178664B *31 Jul 196224 Sep 1964Reimers Getriebe KgStufenlos verstellbares Kegelscheibengetriebe mit auf den Getriebewellen axial verschiebbaren Kegelscheiben
DE10051931A1 *19 Oct 200012 Jul 2001Holger HeuermannDrive and shift device for cycles has trapezoidal shaped belt running between V-shaped plates between front pedal unit and rear unit on back wheel rim
Cooperative ClassificationF16H55/56