Detachable fluid cooling system for bicycle disc brake

Brakes – Wheel – Axially movable brake element or housing therefor

Reexamination Certificate

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C188S024110, C188S26400E, C188S26400E

Reexamination Certificate




1. Field of the Invention
This invention generally relates to cooling a bicycle disc brake for stopping rotation of a bicycle wheel of a bicycle. More specifically, the present invention relates to a detachable fluid cooling system, which is adapted to be coupled to a disc brake of a bicycle.
2. Background Information
Bicycling is becoming an increasingly popular form of recreation as well as a means of transportation. Moreover, bicycling has become a very popular competitive sport. Whether the bicycle is used for recreation, transportation or competition, the bicycle industry is constantly improving their components. One particular component of the bicycle which has been extensively redesigned over the past years is the braking systems of bicycles.
There are several types of bicycle brake devices, which are currently available on the market. Examples of some types of common bicycle brake devices include rim brakes, caliper brakes and disc brakes. If a rider wants a very high performance brake system, then the rider typically wants a disc brake system. Disc brake systems provide a substantial braking power in relationship to the amount of braking force applied to the brake lever. Moreover, disc brake systems typically provide a high level of consistency in all types of weather and riding conditions. However, one problem with disc brakes is that the hydraulic or actuating fluid can become overheated such that vapor-lock occurs. In other words, the heat generated by braking results in the hydraulic fluid increasing in volume so as to cause the brake pads to engage the brake disc even when the brake lever is in the release position. When vapor-lock occurs, the bicycle wheels can lock up and throw the rider off of the bicycle.
In the prior art disc brake systems, several methods have been utilized to avoid vapor-lock. For example, the caliper housing can be made larger to absorb more heat. Another method has been to make a larger brake disc with a wider surface area. Also, vapor-lock can be suppressed by utilizing high quality hydraulic fluid. Yet another method to avoid vapor-lock has been to use brake or friction pads which do not transfer the heat to the brake housing as readily as conventional friction pads. These prior art methods of avoiding vapor-lock have many problems. One particular problem, is that these solutions often are expensive to manufacture. Also, some of these prior art solutions are not completely effective.
In view of the above, there exists a need for a fluid cooled disc brake for a bicycle which overcomes the above-mentioned problems in the prior art. This invention addresses these needs in the prior art as well as other needs, which will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this disclosure.
One object of the present invention is to provide a bicycle disc brake with a fluid cooling system.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a bicycle disc brake with a fluid cooling system, which is replaceable and detachable
Another object of the present invention is to provide an improved bicycle disc brake, which is reliable and durable.
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a bicycle disc brake caliper with detachable a cooling member that transfers heat away from the actuating fluid. Basically, the bicycle disc brake caliper has a housing, a piston unit and a coolant member. The housing has a frame mounting member sized to be coupled to a portion of a bicycle frame. The piston unit is movably coupled to the housing between a release position, in which the piston unit is spaced from a brake disc mounted to a wheel of a bicycle, and a braking position, in which the piston unit engages the brake disc of the bicycle wheel. The coolant member is coupled to the housing. The coolant member has a coolant area for receiving coolant to create a coolant heat sink that transfers heat from the housing. The housing has an actuating passage in fluid communication with the piston unit to move the piston unit via an actuating fluid.
The foregoing objects of the present invention can be attained by providing a detachable fluid cooling system for a bicycle disc brake caliper, comprising: an attachment portion sized to be detachable coupled to the bicycle disc brake caliper; and a coolant portion coupled to said attachment portion to contact the bicycle disc brake caliper for transferring heat from the bicycle disc brake caliper, said coolant portion having an internal coolant area for containing coolant.
In one embodiment, the cooling system includes a pump and a reservoir. In another embodiment, a coolant or water bottle is attached to the coolant member for manually adding coolant thereto. In another embodiment, the coolant member is filled with a high specific heat gel. Yet in other embodiments, the coolant member is adjustable to be oriented with its outlet opening substantially perpendicular to the ground.
Other objects, advantages and salient features of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, which, taken in conjunction with the annexed drawings discloses preferred embodiments of the present invention.

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