My bike rack project: need your input!

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It's an improvement upon an existing product: the bike rack. This would be an add-on to the standard bike rack, aiding people who are short/weak and have trouble lifting a bike onto their roof. The Pro-E drawing doesn't show how it works so I drew up a crappy sketch:
http://i106.photobucket.com/albums/m255/giant016/001.jpg

There's a bar that swings down from the bike rack, and the bike's fork bolts into it. At this point the bike is perpendicular to the car. You can then slide the bike/bar up to the roof rack. It then pivots and locks so that the bike ends up parallel with the car.

Here's the link to the survey, it's only 8 questions. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?s...2fQWnneQ_3d_3d

Thanks a bunch guys.

posted by  giant016

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If I'm not mistaken on your idea, BMW already makes something very similar.

BMW Bicycle Lift (http://accessories.bmwusa.com/ItemView.aspx?modelId=434&categoryId=79&prod uctCategoryId=&menuId=3&subItemId=0&productId=74)
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posted by  BavarianWheels

That's not the full link.

The idea looks good though.

posted by  chris_knows

Everything has been done before. It's depressing doing patent searches.

Patent infringement wouldn't be a problem at all, but I think I see what you're saying. Unfortunately this project isn't very open-ended. Plus the professor won't let us use pneumatics or motors. The only REALLY good design we had for a new rack without pneumatics or motors was pretty much already patented to the T.

I also realized that I missed a hinge in the drawing. Should be one in the bar about 1-2feet from the actual rack. That way it folds there and you can rest the weight on the edge or the rack and slide it up. It still has the problem of needing to reach too high though.

posted by  giant016

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