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Chrome Welcomes Wonka To The Familia

July 12, 2011 - San Francisco, CA

Famed Fixed Gear Freestyle Bike Rider, Ed “Wonka” Laforte Joins the Chrome Familia

Chrome, the world’s leading manufacturer of bike messenger bags, footwear and urban cycling apparel, is proud to welcome its newest member to the Familia, Ed “Wonka” Laforte. Born and raised in New York City, Wonka first got introduced to riding fixed gear bikes at the age of 17 when he was working as a messenger. In the winter of 2008 he was nearly killed when hit by a van while riding his bike. Coming off of those related injuries that summer is when the fixed-gear freestyle caught fire and motivated Wonka to apply his BMX and skateboarding approach to this new medium.

“He is one crazy dude,” Says Animal Bikes founder Ralph Sinisi. “I couldn’t believe the way he was flying around the sketchy ramps we used to have in our warehouse. Then I saw him on the streets going nuts and I knew this guy was going to be killing it more and more.”

Wanting to contribute not only as a rider, but as an innovator and manufacturer, Wonka and two friends started GRIME bikes in 2009 and produced the first ever 26” fixed frame. They expanded this vision to incorporate components and have since opened their own retail space on Henry Street in the famed Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York.

Fast forward to 2011, and here is what Chrome Familia member John Cardiel has to say about Wonka: “In the dawn of the fixed gear freestyle revolution, one man alone is redefining boundaries with his sheer will and incredible power! This man is Ed ‘Wonka’ Laforte.” Introduced to Chrome through Cardiel and Colby Elrick of SKYLMT, here is what Colby has to say about Wonka: “I’ve known Ed for about a year now and I can honestly say he is one of my best friends and one of the realest dudes in the game. He is constantly pushing the sport through his riding and what he’s doing with GRIME. 2011 blueprint, Ed Laforte.”

Wonka purchased a one-way ticket to San Jose for the second week of July and will be making a semi-permanent move to the West Coast where he can take advantage of year-round rideable weather. He will not only be repping Chrome bags but is the first pro rider to officially rep Chrome’s footwear as well. Expect to see more great advancements on that front as Wonka continues to single-handedly educate the world regarding what’s possible on a fixed freestyle bike.

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