Ford patented a support for bicycles that deploys automatically, such that riders never need to put their feet down while riding (such as at traffic lights).
This could be the biggest improvement to bicycles since the development of safety bicycle sin 1880s. The invention could significantly change the experience of riding bicycles.
The patented support mechanism should provide a great relief for bicycle riders across the world. Currently, riders need to put their fee tdown when stopped at a traffic light, when about to stop, when going very slow, etc. Further, people with limited ability to use their legs can also safely ride bicycles.
The support mechanism is driven by a friction wheel to deploy a support arm when the bicycle 10 is moving slowly, below a low speed threshold, e.g., 3 mph at which the bicycle might begin to wobble. The support mechanism raises the support arm when the bicycle is moving quickly, above a high speed threshold, e.g., 5 mph, at which the bicycle tends to remain stably upright. In this manner, the support arm is automatically deployed when the bicycle is moving slowly or stopped and helps to maintain the bicycle in an upright position. Therefore, a rider does not need to use his/her feet to maintain stability of the bicycle.
The support arm includes a support wheel that touches the road, when the support arm is lowered. The wheel helps provide support to the bicycle, even when the bicycle is moving slowly.
Publication number: US9,266,574
Patent Title: Automatically deployed bicycle support
Application number: US 14/464,617
Publication date: 23 Feb 2016
Filing date: 20 Aug 2014
Inventors: Mark Allan Lippman; Mangala A. Jayasuriya;
Original Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC