Arkansas Patent of the Month – June 2023

While bikes make for great transportation over short distances, transporting the bike itself over a long distance can be a challenging task. Traditional bike racks often fail to securely hold the bikes in place, posing a risk to both the bicycle and other vehicles on the road. Recognizing this problem, AON Invent, LLC has developed a revolutionary solution – a novel bicycle rack system designed specifically for pickup trucks. 

The AON Invent bicycle rack system is meticulously engineered to ensure maximum safety and convenience during transportation. The system attaches to the inside of a pickup bed using an L-shaped base bracket which hooks into the space between the truck bed and the tailgate. Once the tailgate is closed, the bracket is secured. The bike’s front wheel drapes over the pickup’s tailgate while the rear wheel rests within the bed of the truck. 

The rack is formed from a set of rack arms, which are semi-curved to conform to the upper edge of the tailgate with a snug fit. The L-shaped bases connect to the bottom side of the rack arms, crafted to conform to the surface of the truck bed, securing the entire system firmly in place. What sets this system apart is its rotational capability, providing precisely two positions of use. The first is the closed ‘non-use’ position, which minimizes contact with the tailgate. The second is the open ‘in-use’ position, where the rack arches around the upper portion of the tailgate, providing a safe and reliable platform for bike transportation.

The AON Invent bicycle rack system also incorporates a unique feature – squash toggles. These toggles play a crucial role in securing the system and preventing any loosening or movement during the pickup truck’s journey. They connect to the L-shaped bases through rubberized, flexible, stretchy straps, offering a secure grip that withstands various driving conditions.

Moreover, this innovative system caters to versatility and adjustability. The lateral crossbars, which support the bikes, can be manufactured with adjustable lengths, ensuring compatibility with different truck tailgate sizes. Additionally, the lateral crossbars feature a hollow round aluminum rigid tube design, covered with both an inside layer of foam padding and an outside layer of vinyl covering. The foam padding includes indents along its length, serving as visual location spots for the bicycle’s frame.

The AON Invent bicycle rack system prioritizes safety and stability. The hinge pins located within the L-shaped bases allow the rack arms, connected by the lateral members, to rotate about the hinge pins. This strategic design dissipates any forces that could potentially displace the L-shaped bases, keeping the entire system securely in position. 

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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