BOISE -- Boise two-time Olympic Gold medalist, Kristin Armstrong, has always given much of the credit for her success to her husband, Joe Savola, and the things he has done to make sure her bikes were of world-class status. Now, Joe is taking his cycle engineering talents to the international market. One of his inventions is being produced by the thousands in the Treasure Valley.
In both of her gold medal rides, Kristin's bikes were outfitted with a little part designed by her husband Joe and his business partner, Eric Jensen. The chain catcher was just the beginning of their Boise business: K-Edge.
Gearing up for the 2008 Olympics, there was one thing worrying Kristin Armstrong's husband, Joe Savola.
About two weeks before Kristin was to head to Bejing I was panicked. I was at my wits end on what we could do, said Joe Savola.
Savola was worried about the chain on Kristin's bike falling off while she switched gears, and he could not find anything on the market to fix it. At her going away party, just a couple weeks before the games, Savola and his brother came up with the idea.
Joe came over literally on the back of a paper plate, sketched out an idea that he and his brother had for a chain device, said Savola's business partner, Eric Jensen.
Savola's friend, and business partner Eric Jensen, made custom chain catchers for Kristin less than a week later, not knowing what they were getting into.
We thought we could buy some pizza and beers and celebrate her gold medal by selling a few of them, said Jensen.
In 2009, the first order came in. Kristin got an email from a cycling team asking for 45 of the chain catchers. Soon after, K-Edge became Savola's full-time job, and half of Jensen's division at AceCo.
Now they make thousands of products a day--chain catchers, Garmin mounts, GoPro mounts, and the list goes on. Moreover, it all happens in the Gem State.
It's very important to keep it here keep it successful, keep our people employed and take care of those guys, said Jensen.
Keeping that money here, keeping the wealth here, employing machinists, engineers, marketing people here in this community is awesome. It's a great feeling, said Savola.
If you are interested in purchasing a chain catcher from K-Edge, or just want more information you can click here.