Stan’s NoTubes’ Rims

We had a great time meeting everybody at NAHBS 2015, and we learned so much. Even got to ride snow-covered trails at Cherokee Park and underground trails at the Louisville Mega Cavern.

But, now we’re back to the IP. On December 24, 2013, Stan’s NoTubes received US 8,613,485 drawn to their tubeless rims. The interesting part here looks to be in FIG. 2:

NoTubes Hump

Compared to the current design of the Iron Cross, from notubes.com, the differences are clear:

iron cross

The central hump 514, as shown in FIG. 2, does not appear in any of the current offerings on NoTubes.com. The hump 514 increases the strength and stiffness of the rim and helps with tubeless setup, for example:

It can be further observed in FIG. 2 that the troughs 517 on opposite axial sides of the hump 514 effectively form two channels. When a tire is initially mounted on the rim, each of the tire beads will sit in a respective trough region 517. Not only do the hump and troughs serve to keep the tire beads separated and confined prior to and during inflation, the separate channels created by the troughs make it easier to trap air and thus easier to inflate the tire particularly in the case of manual pumping. The hump and troughs also keep the tire spread apart and allow for the valve stem (not shown) to inject the air directly into the center of the tire, easing the inflation process.

Note that the hump is only in dependent claims 5-8, i.e., the hump doesn’t make it into the independent claims.

Application: US 13/219,340
Application Status: Issued Dec. 24, 2013 as US 8,613,485
Assignee: K.G. Motors, Inc.
Related Patents/Applications: Continuation of US 12/420,595 (Issued as US 8,007,053), which is a Continuation of US 12/197,901 (Abandoned), which is a Continuation of US 11/965, 153 (Abandoned), which is a Continuation of US 10/959,743 (Issued as US 7,334,846).

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Trek’s Externally-Geared, Belt-Driven Mountain Bike

Conventional wisdom in the belt drive arena tells us that belt drive is only for single speed setups, and an internally geared hub or a gearbox is needed to change gear ratios.

Not so according to Trek. Trek is pursing a US patent application that shows a hardtail mountain bike with both belt drive and a rear derailleur. In March of 2012, Trek was issued a US design patent drawn to the chainring for this implementation.

Screen shot 2015-02-04 at 1.36.59 PM

One or both of the crankset and wheel hub cogs can include more than one cog having different circumferential sizes so as to alter the mechanical advantage provided between the pedals and the driven hub. … It is envisioned that, when provided in a multiple geared format, bicycle 30 be equipped with a front and/or a rear derailleur assembly to facilitate the manual lateral manipulation of the flexible drive member 80 in effectuating shifting of the gearing arrangement of bicycle 30 such that flexible drive member 80 cooperate with one of cogs 120200, or 300 as desired.”

In other words, Trek envisions belt-driven bikes to have both front and rear derailleurs.

Here’s a portion of Trek’s belt drive cassette:

Screen shot 2015-02-04 at 1.39.39 PM

In the cross-section of the cassette, you can see that the belt 80 is engaged in the largest cog and moveable to the right as indicated by arrow 434.

And, here’s a better look at the design of the cogs:

Screen shot 2015-02-04 at 1.43.50 PM

Screen shot 2015-02-04 at 1.43.22 PM

Looks like belt drive may be finding more applications soon.

Application: US 12/985,166
Application Status: Final Rejection – Early Response Due February 12, 2015
Assignee: Trek Bicycle Corp. (original assignee)
Related Patents/Applications: D655,225 (issued March 6, 2012)