(19)
(11)EP 3 426 546 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
17.02.2021 Bulletin 2021/07

(21)Application number: 17711267.9

(22)Date of filing:  07.03.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
B62J 6/00(2020.01)
B62J 6/02(2020.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/GB2017/050606
(87)International publication number:
WO 2017/153738 (14.09.2017 Gazette  2017/37)

(54)

A DEVICE FOR A BICYCLE

VORRICHTUNG FÜR EIN FAHRRAD

DISPOSITIF POUR BICYCLETTE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 07.03.2016 GB 201603903

(43)Date of publication of application:
16.01.2019 Bulletin 2019/03

(73)Proprietor: Shulman, David
London, Greater London N15 6HL (GB)

(72)Inventor:
  • Shulman, David
    London, Greater London N15 6HL (GB)

(74)Representative: Gill, David Alan 
WP Thompson 138 Fetter Lane
London EC4A 1BT
London EC4A 1BT (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 0 505 182
DE-A1- 10 053 167
GB-A- 2 490 496
US-A1- 2013 148 375
DD-A1- 119 181
DE-A1-102010 020 926
GB-A- 2 490 496
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description


    [0001] The present invention relates to a device for a bicycle, and particularly, but not exclusively, to a safety and signalling device for a bicycle which aims to provide a safety buffer around a cyclist. The device may also provide an indication of the direction in which a cyclist intends to turn.

    [0002] Cyclists are generally more vulnerable than other road users because they are not enclosed within a structure of a vehicle but instead are directly exposed to other traffic. They are also relatively small compared to motorised vehicles, particularly lorries and buses, and therefore can be difficult to see. Other road users often do not leave enough space between their vehicle and a cyclist when passing a cyclist on the road. This can be unnerving and dangerous particularly when large or fast moving vehicles are involved. Furthermore, cyclists are relatively slow compared to motorised vehicles and therefore cannot move out of the way of danger as quickly.

    [0003] It is also more difficult for cyclists to signal to other road users. Indeed, it has been found that only a minority of cyclists use hand signals or any other form of directional indication prior to making a turn. Whereas motorised vehicles generally have indicator devices in the form of electric flashing lights on the sides or corners of the vehicle which indicate the direction the vehicle intends to turn in, bicycles generally do not have such indicator devices. Conventionally, a cyclist will indicate by giving a hand signal, i.e. extending a hand and arm in the direction they wish to turn. However, this involves removing one hand from the handlebars which reduces the cyclist's ability to control the bicycle. This can be dangerous if the cyclist is on uneven ground or is trying to steer the bicycle.

    [0004] Of course, the above problems are exacerbated at night because it is even more difficult to see a cyclist and a cyclist's signals when it is dark.

    [0005] Devices which seek to mitigate one or more of the above problems are known. Conventionally, cyclists place lights on their bicycle. These generally consist of a single white light on the front of the bicycle facing in the direction of travel and a single red light on the rear of the bicycle facing in the opposite direction. The red light is visible to road users approaching the cyclist from behind. However, such lights are often small, are of limited power and provide no indicate of the width of the cyclist.

    [0006] In addition, cyclists can place fluorescent or reflective armbands on their arms in an effort to make their signals more visible to other road users. However, this does not overcome the problem discussed above of the cyclist having to remove one of their hands from the handlebars. Electric indicator lights for bicycles, similar to those used by motorcycles, are known. However, as the indicator lights are mounted close together and do not extend beyond the width of the bicycle, they are not easily visible and can be ambiguous to read at a distance.

    [0007] US 3,945,337 describes a device intended to make a bicycle more visible from a distance. The device comprises an arch which extends above the handlebar and has reflective, illuminative, or decorative attachments. The arch is attached at both its ends to the handlebar. However, a significant disadvantage of such a device is that it could snag on a passing object or vehicle with potentially serious consequences. In addition, the lateral or outward extension of the device is limited since both ends are attached to the handlebar.

    [0008] US 5,872,510 describes a bicycle signalling device which can be mounted on a bicycle. The device includes a centrally mounted holder, two bendable arms connected to and extending away from the holder and a lamp mounted on the end of each arm. The purpose of the bendable arms is to position the lamps above shoulder height where they are more visible. The bendable arms are sufficiently rigid to retain a position imparted to them such that the lamps are retained in position. However, a disadvantage with this device is that the lamps are continuously in the cyclist's field of vision and may dazzle the cyclist, particularly at night, when illuminated. Furthermore, the arms would easily be moved out of position if knocked by the cyclist or a passing object. In addition, the lamps on the end of the bendable arms are bulbous and could snag on passing objects or vehicles.

    [0009] With respect to the problem of vehicles passing too closely to cyclists, devices seeking to prevent this are also known. US 4,586,454 describes a distance safety stick for a bicycle comprising a guard arm and a mounting device for supporting the guard arm in a horizontally disposed position at one side of the bicycle. The guard arm has an arrow shaped reflector portion to indicate the bicycle's presence to approaching vehicles. However, such a device is not designed to be flexible and is again at risk of snagging on or being damaged by a passing object or vehicle.

    [0010] Document GB2490496A is considered being the closest prior art and shows the preamble of claim 1.

    [0011] The present invention has been devised to seek to overcome the limitations of the known bicycle safety and signalling devices and with the foregoing in mind.

    [0012] According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a device for a bicycle, the device comprising: an elongate member, the elongate member having a first end arranged to be connected to the handlebar of the bicycle and a second end arranged to extend freely; at least one light source arranged to illuminate at least a part of the elongate member; wherein the elongate member is flexibly resilient such that, if a force causes the elongate member to move from a first configuration to a second configuration, the elongate member will return to the first configuration once the force is removed; wherein the elongate member is of a length so as to extend outwardly beyond an end of the handlebar.

    [0013] Since the elongate member extends outwardly beyond an end of the handlebar, it is visible from both the front and rear of the bicycle and makes the bicycle appear wider than it actually is. Consequently, a "safety buffer" is created to the side of the bicycle because a driver of a passing vehicle will give the cyclist more space to avoid making contact with the elongate member. The plurality of light sources arranged along at least a part of the elongate member increases the visibility of the elongate member in daylight and particularly at night. The free end of the elongate member and its flexibility reduces the likelihood that it will snag on a passing object or vehicle in the event a passing vehicle inadvertently makes contact with the elongate member and the flexible resilient nature of the elongate member means that if it is knocked by a passing object or vehicle, it will return to its original configuration. An advantage of attaching the device to the handlebar of a bicycle is that it is always facing in the direction of travel and provides a clear indication of the movement of the handlebar and therefore direction of travel. Furthermore, due to the device's ease of use and increased visibility, cyclists will be able to provide direction signals more easily and therefore the device will have road safety benefits.

    [0014] The elongate member may be configured to be spaced apart from and extend substantially parallel to the handlebars in the first configuration. Such a configuration has been found to be particularly effective at making the bicycle appear wider than it actually is and still provides space for the cyclist to grip the handlebar.

    [0015] Optionally, the elongate member may be configured to extend in front of and below the handlebar. Such an arrangement has been found to be particularly beneficial in not interfering with the cyclist's grip of the handlebar and/or use of the bicycle brakes.

    [0016] The elongate member may be between 15 and 35 cm in length. Such a range of lengths has generally been found to be sufficient to allow the elongate member to extend beyond an end of the handlebar.

    [0017] Optionally, the elongate member may be tapered from the first end to the second end. Tapering of the elongate member so that it is narrower at its second end (i.e. the end which extends freely) than at its first end (i.e. the end which is fixed by its connection to the handlebar), has been found to reduce the likelihood of the member snagging on passing objects or vehicles.

    [0018] According to the invention, the elongate member is transparent or translucent and the light source is arranged to direct at least a portion of the light from the light source along and within the elongate member. This provides the appearance of part or the whole elongate member being illuminated, which further increases the visibility of the device.

    [0019] The light source may be contained within the elongate member. Such an arrangement protects the light source and further reduces the risk of snagging.

    [0020] Optionally, the light source may be configured to selectively light continuously or intermittently. The light source may be configured to flash. A light source which lights intermittently or flashes is more noticeable to other road users and this feature allows a cyclist to select the level of indication required.

    [0021] The light source may be configured to present light of a first colour when viewed from a viewpoint in front of the bicycle and to present light of a second colour when viewed from a viewpoint behind the bicycle. This can provide an indication to other road users of the direction in which the bicycle is travelling. For example, the light source may use conventional colours, i.e. the first and second colours may be white and red respectively.

    [0022] The light source may comprise one or more LEDs. LEDs are a particularly convenient light source in that they are suitably small and robust and have low power consumption and a long lifespan.

    [0023] Optionally, the device may comprise a plurality of light sources arranged along at least a part of the elongate member. This provides another way of illuminating a length of the elongate member.

    [0024] The elongate member may be transparent or translucent and the plurality of light sources may be contained within the elongate member. Such an arrangement protects the light source and further reduces the risk of snagging.

    [0025] Optionally, the plurality of light sources may be arranged to direct at least a portion of the light from the light sources along and within the elongate member. This provides the appearance of part or the whole elongate member being illuminated, which further increases the visibility of the device.

    [0026] The plurality of light sources may be configured to selectively light continuously, light intermittently or light in sequence along the length of the elongate member. The plurality of light sources may be configured to flash. Light sources which light intermittently or flash are more noticeable to other road users and this feature allows a cyclist to select the level of indication required.

    [0027] The plurality of light sources may be configured to selectively light continuously, light intermittently or light in sequence along the length of the elongate member. The plurality of light sources may be configured to flash. Light sources which light intermittently, flash or light sequentially are more noticeable to other road users and provide another level of indication which the cyclist can select.

    [0028] Optionally, the light sources may be configured to light in sequence along the length of the elongate member in a direction extending outwardly from the bicycle. This can provide an indication of a direction in which a cyclist intends to turn.

    [0029] The plurality of light sources may be configured to present light of a first colour when viewed from a viewpoint in front of the bicycle and to present light of a second colour when viewed from a viewpoint behind the bicycle. This can provide an indication to other road users of the direction in which the bicycle is travelling. For example, the plurality of light sources may use conventional colours, i.e. the first and second colours may be white and red respectively.

    [0030] The plurality of light sources may comprise LEDs. LEDs are a particularly convenient light source in that they are suitably small and robust and have low power consumption and a long lifespan.

    [0031] Optionally, the first end of the elongate member may be adapted to be connected directly to the handlebar. Alternatively, the device may further comprise a mounting member adapted to connect the first end of the elongate member to the handlebar. A mounting member provides a convenient way of attaching the elongate member. The mounting member may be configured to be rigid or flexible.

    [0032] The mounting member may comprise a power source for the device. The mounting member may also comprise a switch for controlling the light source or light sources. Uses of the switch include, but are not limited to, turning the light source or light sources on and off and also selecting the different illumination modes discussed above.

    [0033] According to the invention, the device comprises a pivot for allowing the device to move to a stowed configuration in which the elongate member does not extend outwardly beyond an end of the handlebar. This configuration could be adopted when the bicycle is not in use or if the cyclist needs to squeeze through a narrow gap.

    [0034] According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a kit of parts comprising two of the devices of any one of the arrangements discussed above, one for each handle or side of the handlebar.

    [0035] The kit of parts may further comprise a connector between the two devices in order to provide synchronised control of the respective light source or light sources of each device. Optionally, the connector may be a radio connection, which provides a particularly convenient means of connection as it does not involve a physical connection such as a wire.

    [0036] One or more specific embodiments in accordance with aspects of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, and with reference to the following drawings in which:

    Figure 1 is a perspective view of a device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

    Figure 2 is a view from a front perspective of a device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention attached to either side of a handlebar of a bicycle.



    [0037] Figure 1 shows a device 1 for a bicycle (not shown) comprising an elongate member 2 and a mounting member 4. The mounting member 4 is used to attach the device 1 to a bicycle. The elongate member 2 comprises a first end 2a, which is attached to the mounting member 4, and a second end 2b, which is arranged to extend freely. The first end 2a of the elongate member 2 is therefore arranged to be connected, via the mounting member 4, to the handlebar of a bicycle and constitutes a fixed end 2a. The second end 2b constitutes a free end 2b of the elongate member.

    [0038] In addition, the elongate member 2 comprises a plurality of light emitting diodes (LEDs) 6 arranged along its length at regular intervals. The number of LEDs used will depend on the length of the elongate member 2 and the amount of light that is required. The LEDs 6, when illuminated, act as light sources which increase the visibility of the elongate member, particularly at night or in low light conditions.

    [0039] The elongate member 2 comprises a hollow tube which tapers from the fixed end 2a to the free end 2b such that the free end 2b has a smaller diameter than the fixed end 2a. Tapering reduces the risk of the elongate member 2 snagging on a passing object and also means that the elongate member 2 becomes more flexible towards its free end 2b.

    [0040] The LEDs 6 are arranged inside the elongate member 2, which is made from a suitably flexible and resilient material, for example a thermoplastic polymer such as low density polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride. In order to allow the light emitted by the LEDs 6 to be visible, the elongate member 2 is transparent or translucent. Due to internal reflections within the elongate member 2, a portion of the light from the LEDs 6 is reflected internally along the elongate member 2 such that, in addition to each individual light source of each individual LED 6 being visible, a part or the whole of the elongate member 2 appears to be illuminated or glowing. This creates a particularly eye-catching or noticeable arrangement which is effective at drawing the attention of other road users and making the cyclist more visible. The skilled person will appreciate that the same effect can be achieved by a single light source, for example, comprising just one LED or other form of light source. The single light source can be arranged to direct at least a portion of its emitted light along and within the elongate member 2. A portion of the light from the single light source will be reflected internally along the elongate member 2 such that a part or the whole of the elongate member 2 appears to be illuminated or glowing.

    [0041] The mounting member 4 has a clip 8 at a mounting end 4a of the mounting member 4 for attaching the device 1 to a bicycle. When attached to the handlebar (not shown) of a bicycle, the clip 8 grips the handlebar and holds the device 1 in position. The clip 8 can be simply pushed on to or pulled off the handlebar for quick attachment or removal. The clip 8 is also formed integrally with the mounting member 4 which is made from a suitably resilient and tough material, such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). The elongate member 2 and mounting member 4 extend substantially at right angles to each other such that when the device 1 is attached to a bicycle the elongate member 2 extends substantially parallel to and spaced apart from the handlebar.

    [0042] A switch 10 for controlling the LEDs is provided on the mounting member 4. The switch 10 can be used to turn the LEDs on or off or to select various lighting modes for the LEDs. For example, the LEDS can be controlled to light continuously, to flash or to light in sequence along the length of the elongate member 2. Flashing or sequentially lighting LEDs may make the device 1 more eye-catching and therefore noticeable to other road users. Furthermore, the LEDs can be made to light in sequence along the length of the elongate member 2 in a direction extending outwardly from the bicycle, i.e. from the fixed end 2a to the free end 2b. Such a lighting mode can be used to provide a directional indication to other road users, i.e. to indicate the direction in which a cyclist intends to turn. In addition, the device 1 can be configured so that the LEDs flash in response to the cyclist's speed, for example, by including an accelerometer (not shown) within the device 1 which provides a signal indicative of the speed the bicycle is moving at.

    [0043] The mounting member 4 may also comprise a power source (not shown) for the LEDs.

    [0044] Figure 2 shows a device 1 attached to either side of a handlebar 102 of a bicycle 100, i.e. one for each handle of the handlebar. The elongate member 2 of each device 1 extends outwardly (i.e. in a direction away from the centre of the handlebar) beyond the ends 102a and 102b of the handlebar 102. The elongate members 2 are spaced apart from and extend substantially parallel to the handlebar 102. Such an arrangement enhances the outward extension of the elongate members 2, i.e. it increases the safety buffer on either side of the bicycle 100 compared to an arrangement in which the elongate members 2 extend at an angle to the handlebar 102. It also still allows space for the cyclist to grip the handles of the handlebar 102 and use the brakes 104.

    [0045] The elongate member 2 is between 15 and 35 cm in length. This range of lengths has been found to provide sufficient extension of the elongate member 2 beyond the end of the handlebar 102 of a bicycle. The skilled person will appreciate that the elongate member 2 can be of a different length, depending on the amount of extension required and the size of the bicycle. The skilled person will also appreciate that the amount of extension can be altered by changing the point at which the device 1 is attached to the handlebar 102.

    [0046] Each device 1 is clipped to the handlebar 102 by means of clip 8 at a point just inward (i.e. in a direction toward the centre of the handlebar) of the point at which the brakes 104 are attached. Each device 1 can be rotated about clip 8 so that it is forward of and below the handlebar 102. Such an arrangement has been found to be particularly beneficial in not interfering with the cyclist's grip of the handlebar 102 and/or use of the bicycle brakes 104.

    [0047] As discussed above, the elongate members 2 are made from a suitably flexible and resilient material so that they bend if they strike a passing object or vehicle. If a force, caused for example by an impact with a passing object, results in the elongate members 2 being moved out of their standard mounted position, i.e. a first configuration (shown in solid lines in Figure 2), to a deformed position, i.e. a second configuration (shown in dotted lines in Figure 2), then, due to their resilience and flexibility, the elongate members 2 will return to the first configuration once the force is removed. This reduces the likelihood of the forward momentum or control of the bicycle by the cyclist being adversely affected by an impact of the elongate members 2 with a passing object or vehicle and also the likelihood of the elongate members being damaged.

    [0048] A connector (not shown in Figure 2) may be provided to connect the two devices 1 in order to provide synchronised control of the LEDs 6. For example, if a cyclist sets the LEDs 6 of one of the devices 1 to light in sequence, then the connector will control the other device 1 to do likewise. Synchronous control of the two devices 1 can be inhibited if the cyclist wishes to use the devices 1 to signal a direction in which they wish to turn. In which case only one of the devices 1, i.e. the device extending in the direction of the turn, will provide the indication, for example, by flashing, whilst the other device 1 may, for example, just light continuously. The connector may be a radio connection to avoid the use of wires extending between the devices 1.

    [0049] In use, a cyclist attaches a device 1 to each side of their handlebar, as shown in Figure 2. The cyclist will turn the LEDs 6 on by pressing button 10. Further presses of the button 10 will cycle through the various lighting modes discussed above, i.e. light continuously, flash or light in sequence. The button 10 is conveniently located near the cyclist's hand on the handlebar 102 and on the part of the clip 8 which faces the cyclist so that it can be operated easily whilst the cyclist is cycling without having to remove their hands from the handlebar 102, for example, by using their thumb.

    [0050] As the cyclist cycles, the illuminated elongate members 2 extend outwardly beyond the ends of the handlebar 102 such that they are clearly visible to vehicles approaching the cyclist both from the front and the rear. This creates a safety buffer on either side of the cyclist into which other roads users are deterred from entering. If the cyclist wishes to turn either left or right, they press the button 10 on the respective device 1 to change the lighting mode, for example, from light continuously to flashing, in order to indicate that they intend to turn in that direction.

    [0051] Various modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art. For example, instead of the device comprising multiple LEDs, it may comprise just one LED or other light source. Instead of the light source being LEDs, any suitable light source could be used including, but not limited to, incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent light bulbs, fibre optic cables, electroluminescent members, or other light sources. Further, the LEDs do not need to be contained within the elongate member but could be mounted on or embedded in its surface or mounted on a separate flexible central member or spine within the elongate member. The LEDs can be of various different colours. The LEDs can also be multicolour LEDs such that operation of the button changes the colour of the light that the LED emits. The device can be manufactured from any suitable material or combination of suitable materials in order to provide the properties required. The device may have an opaque divide arranged centrally along the length of the elongate member with LEDs of different colours on either side of the divide so that different colour light can be viewed from opposing sides of the device. Instead of a clip, the device could be attached to the handlebar in other ways, for example, using Velcro™, a clamp, quick release mechanism or any other suitable attachment. In addition, the device could comprise an additional light source intended for forward illumination in order to light the road in the direction the cyclist is travelling in dark urban or rural areas.

    [0052] Moreover, the device could comprise a pivot or a rotatable coupling for allowing the device to move to a stowed configuration in which the elongate member does not extend outwardly beyond an end of the handlebar. For example, in such stowed configuration the elongate member could be moved or pivoted backwards by approximately 90° so that it extends substantially parallel to the frame of the bicycle. This configuration could be adopted when the bicycle is not in use, i.e. when a safety buffer around the cyclist is not required. Alternatively, this configuration could be used if the cyclist needs to squeeze through a narrow gap, i.e. a gap narrower than the overall length of the elongate members in their outwardly extending configuration. A cyclist can simply move or pivot the device into the stowed configuration so that the elongate members are not continuously subject to a bending stress whilst travelling through the gap. Such a feature would also reduce stress or pressure on the elongate members when the bicycle is not being used, e.g. if it is being leant against a wall or railing. Any suitable pivot or rotatable coupling could be used, for example, an articulated joint, hinge or rotatable collar. The pivot or rotatable coupling may comprise a mechanism to hold the device stably in either the stowed or outwardly extending configuration, for example, an over-centre mechanism or a plurality of castellations or protrusions biased against a holding member. Either the mounting member or the elongate member could comprise the pivot or rotatable coupling.

    [0053] All references made herein to orientation (e.g. top, bottom, front and back) are made for the purposes of describing relative spatial arrangements of the features of the apparatus, and are not intended to be limiting in any sense. The skilled person will appreciate that references made to orientation or direction herein are with respect to a bicycle in normal use.


    Claims

    1. A device (1) for a bicycle, the device comprising:

    an elongate member (2), the elongate member having a first end (2a) arranged to be connected to the handlebar of the bicycle and a second end (2b) arranged to extend freely;

    at least one light source (6) arranged to illuminate at least a part of the elongate member;

    wherein the elongate member is flexibly resilient such that, if a force causes the elongate member to move from a first configuration to a second configuration, the elongate member will return to the first configuration once the force is removed; and

    a pivot for allowing the device to move to a stowed configuration;

    wherein the elongate member is of a length so as to extend outwardly beyond an end of the handlebar in the first configuration;

    characterised in that the elongate member is transparent or translucent and the light source is arranged to direct at least a portion of the light from the light source along and within the elongate member, wherein the elongate member is movable to a stowed configuration in which the elongate member does not extend outwardly beyond the end of the handlebar.


     
    2. A device according to claim 1, wherein the elongate member is configured to be spaced apart from and extend substantially parallel to the handlebar in the first configuration; and optionally wherein the elongate member is configured to extend in front of and below the handlebar.
     
    3. A device according to any one of claims 1 or 2, wherein the elongate member is between 15 and 35 cm in length.
     
    4. A device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the elongate member is tapered from the first end to the second end; and optionally wherein the light source is contained within the elongate member.
     
    5. A device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the light source is configured to selectively light continuously or intermittently; and optionally wherein the light source is configured to flash.
     
    6. A device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the light source is configured to present light of a first colour when viewed from a viewpoint in front of the bicycle and to present light of a second colour when viewed from a viewpoint behind the bicycle; or optionally wherein the light source comprises one or more LEDs.
     
    7. A device according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the device comprises a plurality of light sources arranged along at least a part of the elongate member.
     
    8. A device according to claim 11, wherein the plurality of light sources are contained within the elongate member; and optionally wherein the plurality of light sources are arranged to direct at least a portion of the light from the light sources along and within the elongate member.
     
    9. A device according to any one of claims 6 to 8, wherein the plurality of light sources are configured to selectively light continuously, light intermittently or light in sequence along the length of the elongate member; and optionally wherein the plurality of light sources are configured to flash.
     
    10. A device according to claim 9, wherein the light sources are configured to light in sequence along the length of the elongate member in a direction extending outwardly from the bicycle.
     
    11. A device according to any one of claims 7 to 10, wherein the plurality of light sources are configured to present light of a first colour when viewed from a viewpoint in front of the bicycle and to present light of a second colour when viewed from a viewpoint behind the bicycle.
     
    12. A device according to any one of claims 7 to 11, wherein the plurality of light sources comprises LEDs.
     
    13. A device according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the first end of the elongate member is adapted to be connected directly to the handlebar; or optionally further comprising a mounting member adapted to connect the first end of the elongate member to the handlebar.
     
    14. A device according to claim 13, wherein the mounting member is configured to be rigid; or optionally wherein the mounting member is configured to be flexible.
     
    15. A device according to claim 14, wherein the mounting member comprises a power source for the device; or optionally wherein the mounting member comprises a switch for controlling the light source or sources.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Vorrichtung (1) für ein Fahrrad, wobei die Vorrichtung Folgendes umfasst:

    ein langgestrecktes Element (2), wobei das langgestreckte Element ein erstes Ende (2a), das dazu angeordnet ist, mit der Lenkstange des Fahrrads verbunden zu werden, und ein zweites Ende (2b), das dazu angeordnet ist, sich frei zu erstrecken, umfasst;

    mindestens eine Lichtquelle (6), die dazu angeordnet ist, mindestens einen Teil des langgestreckten Elements zu beleuchten;

    wobei das langgestreckte Element biegeelastisch ist, sodass, wenn eine Kraft bewirkt, dass sich das langgestreckte Element aus einer ersten Konfiguration in eine zweite Konfiguration bewegt, das langgestreckte Element in die erste Konfiguration zurückkehrt, sobald die Kraft entfernt wird; und

    ein Gelenk, um es der Vorrichtung zu ermöglichen, sich in eine verstaute Konfiguration zu bewegen;

    wobei das langgestreckte Elemente eine derartige Länge aufweist, dass es sich in der ersten Konfiguration über ein Ende der Lenkstange hinaus nach außen erstreckt;

    dadurch gekennzeichnet, dass das langgestreckte Element durchsichtig oder durchscheinend ist und die Lichtquelle dazu angeordnet ist, mindestens einen Teil des Lichts von der Lichtquelle entlang und innerhalb des langgestreckten Elements zu lenken, wobei das langgestreckte Element in eine verstaute Konfiguration bewegbar ist, in der sich das langgestreckte Element nicht über das Ende der Lenkstange hinaus nach außen erstreckt.


     
    2. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei das langgestreckte Element dazu konfiguriert ist, in der ersten Konfiguration von der Lenkstange beabstandet zu sein und sich im Wesentlichen parallel dazu zu erstrecken; und wobei optional das langgestreckte Element dazu konfiguriert ist, sich vor und unter der Lenkstange zu erstrecken.
     
    3. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 oder 2, wobei das langgestreckte Element zwischen 15 und 35 cm lang ist.
     
    4. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei das langgestreckte Element von dem ersten Ende zu dem zweiten Ende verjüngt ist; und wobei optional die Lichtquelle in dem langgestreckten Element aufgenommen ist.
     
    5. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Lichtquelle dazu konfiguriert ist, selektiv durchgehend oder unterbrochen zu leuchten; und wobei optional die Lichtquelle dazu konfiguriert ist, zu blinken.
     
    6. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei die Lichtquelle dazu konfiguriert ist, Licht einer ersten Farbe darzustellen, wenn sie aus einer Blickrichtung vor dem Fahrrad betrachtet wird, und Licht einer zweiten Farbe darzustellen, wenn sie aus einer Blickrichtung hinter dem Fahrrad betrachtet wird; oder wobei optional die Lichtquelle eine oder mehrere LEDs umfasst.
     
    7. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei die Vorrichtung eine Vielzahl von Lichtquellen umfasst, die entlang mindestens eines Teils des langgestreckten Elements angeordnet sind.
     
    8. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 11, wobei die Vielzahl von Lichtquellen in dem langgestreckten Element aufgenommen ist; und wobei optional die Vielzahl von Lichtquellen dazu angeordnet ist, mindestens einen Teil des Lichts von den Lichtquellen entlang und innerhalb des langgestreckten Elements zu lenken.
     
    9. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 6 bis 8, wobei die Vielzahl von Lichtquellen dazu konfiguriert ist, selektiv durchgehend zu leuchten, unterbrochen zu leuchten, oder in Folge entlang der Länge des langgestreckten Elements zu leuchten; und wobei optional die Vielzahl von Lichtquellen dazu konfiguriert ist, zu blinken.
     
    10. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 9, wobei die Lichtquellen dazu konfiguriert sind, in Folge entlang der Länge des langgestreckten Elements in einer sich von dem Fahrrad nach außen erstreckenden Richtung zu leuchten.
     
    11. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 7 bis 10, wobei die Vielzahl von Lichtquellen dazu konfiguriert ist, Licht einer ersten Farbe darzustellen, wenn sie aus einer Blickrichtung vor dem Fahrrad betrachtet wird, und Licht einer zweiten Farbe darzustellen, wenn sie aus einer Blickrichtung hinter dem Fahrrad betrachtet wird.
     
    12. Vorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 7 bis 11, wobei die Vielzahl von Lichtquellen LEDs umfasst.
     
    13. Vorrichtung nach einem der vorangehenden Ansprüche, wobei das erste Ende des langgestreckten Elements dazu angepasst ist, direkt mit der Lenkstange verbunden zu werden; oder optional ferner umfassend ein Befestigungselement, das dazu angepasst ist, das erste Ende des langgestreckten Elements mit der Lenkstange zu verbinden.
     
    14. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 13, wobei das Befestigungselement dazu konfiguriert ist, starr zu sein; oder wobei optional das Befestigungselement dazu konfiguriert ist, biegsam zu sein.
     
    15. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 14, wobei das Befestigungselement eine Stromquelle für die Vorrichtung umfasst; oder wobei optional das Befestigungselement einen Schalter zum Steuern der Lichtquelle oder -quellen umfasst.
     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif (1) pour une bicyclette, le dispositif comportant :

    un élément allongé (2), l'élément allongé ayant une première extrémité (2a) agencée pour être reliée au guidon de la bicyclette et une deuxième extrémité (2b) agencée pour s'étendre librement ;

    au moins une source de lumière (6) agencée pour éclairer au moins une partie de l'élément allongé ;

    dans lequel l'élément allongé est élastique de manière flexible de telle sorte que, si une force amène l'élément allongé à se déplacer d'une première configuration à une deuxième configuration, l'élément allongé retournera sur la première configuration une fois que la force est retirée ; et

    un pivot servant à permettre au dispositif de se déplacer jusque dans une configuration escamotée ;

    dans lequel l'élément allongé est d'une longueur lui permettant de s'étendre vers l'extérieur au-delà d'une extrémité du guidon dans la première configuration ;

    caractérisé en ce que l'élément allongé est transparent ou translucide et la source de lumière est agencée pour diriger au moins une partie de la lumière provenant de la source de lumière le long et à l'intérieur de l'élément allongé, dans lequel l'élément allongé est mobile jusque dans une configuration escamotée dans laquelle l'élément allongé ne s'étend pas vers l'extérieur au-delà de l'extrémité du guidon.


     
    2. Dispositif selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'élément allongé est configuré pour être espacé et s'étendre de manière sensiblement parallèle par rapport au guidon dans la première configuration ; et éventuellement dans lequel l'élément allongé est configuré pour s'étendre devant et sous le guidon.
     
    3. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 ou 2, dans lequel l'élément allongé mesure entre 15 et 35 cm de long.
     
    4. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'élément allongé va en s'effilant depuis la première extrémité jusqu'à la deuxième extrémité ; et éventuellement dans lequel la source de lumière est contenue à l'intérieur de l'élément allongé.
     
    5. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la source de lumière est configurée pour, de façon sélective, éclairer de manière continue ou par intermittence ; et éventuellement dans lequel la source de lumière est configurée pour clignoter.
     
    6. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la source de lumière est configurée pour présenter la lumière d'une première couleur lorsque vue depuis un point de vue devant la bicyclette et pour présenter la lumière d'une deuxième couleur lorsque vue depuis un point de vue derrière la bicyclette ; ou éventuellement dans lequel la source de lumière comporte une ou plusieurs diodes électroluminescentes.
     
    7. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, dans lequel le dispositif comporte une pluralité de sources de lumière agencées le long d'au moins une partie de l'élément allongé.
     
    8. Dispositif selon la revendication 11, dans lequel les sources de lumière de la pluralité de sources de lumière sont contenues à l'intérieur de l'élément allongé ; et éventuellement dans lequel les sources de lumière de la pluralité de sources de lumière sont agencées pour diriger au moins une partie de la lumière provenant des sources de lumière le long et à l'intérieur de l'élément allongé.
     
    9. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 6 à 8, dans lequel les sources de lumière de la pluralité de sources de lumière sont configurées pour, de façon sélective, éclairer de manière continue, éclairer par intermittence ou éclairer de manière séquentielle le long de la longueur de l'élément allongé ; et éventuellement dans lequel les sources de lumière de la pluralité de sources de lumière sont configurées pour clignoter.
     
    10. Dispositif selon la revendication 9, dans lequel les sources de lumière sont configurées pour éclairer de manière séquentielle le long de la longueur de l'élément allongé dans une direction s'étendant vers l'extérieur depuis la bicyclette.
     
    11. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 7 à 10, dans lequel les sources de lumière de la pluralité de sources de lumière sont configurées pour présenter la lumière d'une première couleur lorsque vue depuis un point de vue devant la bicyclette et pour présenter la lumière d'une deuxième couleur lorsque vue depuis un point de vue derrière la bicyclette.
     
    12. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications 7 à 11, dans lequel les sources de lumière de la pluralité de sources de lumière comportent des diodes électroluminescentes.
     
    13. Dispositif selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel la première extrémité de l'élément allongé est adaptée pour être reliée directement au guidon ; ou éventuellement comportant par ailleurs un élément de montage adapté pour relier la première extrémité de l'élément allongé au guidon.
     
    14. Dispositif selon la revendication 13, dans lequel l'élément de montage est configuré pour être rigide ; ou éventuellement dans lequel l'élément de montage est configuré pour être flexible.
     
    15. Dispositif selon la revendication 14, dans lequel l'élément de montage comporte une source d'alimentation pour le dispositif ; ou éventuellement dans lequel l'élément de montage comporte un commutateur servant à commander la source ou les sources de lumière.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description