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What I Ride – Ryan Howard

All black, Animal‘d out, with four metal pegs and four-piece bars… Ryan Howard‘s bike has all the makings of the classic “east coast street” style ride that is synonymous with countless legendary Animal alumni and a perfect match for Howard’s no-frills raw riding style—which you’re probably familiar with after his recent San Fran Cuts video.

Height: 5′ 10”
Weight: 170 lbs.
Location: Springfield, Ohio
Sponsors: Animal

Photos By Devon Denham

Frame: BSD Raider, v1, 21”
Fork: Animal Street fork, 26 mm offset
Bars: Animal Foursome, cut down to 27”
Stem: OG Animal Jump Off with random titanium bolts
Grips: Cult Dakota
Barends: Animal alloy
Headset: Animal
Seatpost: Animal wedge post
Seat: Animal OG Cush
Pedals: Animal Steven Hamilton, alloy, sealed.
Cranks: Animal Akimbo, 170mm
Sprocket: Odyssey Chase Hawk 27-tooth
Chain: Cult 510
Front Tire: Animal GLH 2.10”
Front Wheel:
Simple Eject hub and guards, Animal RS rim
Rear Tire: Animal TWW, foldable, 2.0”
Rear Wheel: Odyssey Antigram cassette, Animal RS rim, two off brand drive side guards
Pegs: Four Animal LinoG pegs—the long ones [4.5”].

Describe your bike for us… What makes it your ride?
My bike is kind of a dinosaur now, cassette, metal pegs and pedals, smaller tires, longer chainstay and higher BB than most people’s bikes, but it works for me. I try to keep my tires pumped up to 110 psi and I stick to the skinnier sized tires so they roll fast and don’t catch as much on grinds. I’m not super picky about where my bars are as long as they are close to being inline with the fork. I don’t like my pedals moving on tailwhips and I hate the clanking so I keep my chain pretty tight. I can’t stand thick grips so it’s not uncommon for me to ride grips until I’ve worn them through to the bar. I have the GSport hex taper nipples on my wheels so that I can crank my spokes down as tight as possible to keep my wheels from ever needing to be trued.

Other than your seat, have you ever had a plastic part on your bike?
I keep a set of Butcher pegs in my car for the times when a setup calls for plastic pegs. I’m not against plastic pegs. I just like the friction of metal pegs on crooks and how long a steel peg lasts. I’ve ridden plastic pedals before, but I always break them or bend the spindle so I stick to the stronger sealed metal joints.

You’re running a GLH up front and a Tom White in the rear… why two different tires?
No reason other than I like how one white wall tire looks. My last few sets of tires have been both GLHs, though.

What are you most particular about on your bike?
I have to have a higher bottom bracket for switch crooked grinds. I hate when my sprocket catches on rails. I’m not into really short chainstays, either. I don’t do a lot of tech stuff where a short chainstay would benefit me, so I don’t like my bike feeling twitchy.

Compared to a lot of other sponsored rider’s bikes, it looks like you ride your parts for a longer amount of time before switching them out. Any particular reason for that?
Animal makes the best stuff so I don’t break parts that often. I like how my bike feels when it’s worn-in, so I try to ride stuff until I can’t anymore.

Why is there what appears to be a Hi-8 camera in some of these photos?
It’s actually a VHS-c camera, but basically the same thing. I like the juxtaposition of analog footage mixed with HD. I’ve been using cheap VHS-c cameras for b-roll and second angles for the full length project, Us/them I’ve been working on with my friends. I’d love to use super 8 instead, but I can’t justify how expensive it is to process.

Without knowing you all that well, but looking at your bike, you strike me as a tried and true type guy who probably doesn’t change up his bike too often. However, can you recall the last change you made to your bike that made a big difference? And if you were to change something up and/or try something new, what do you think it would be?
Yeah, I know what I like so I stick to it. Just a couple years ago I was still riding OG Bob bars with spacers on the ends to make them longer, so I guess riding 9” bars now is a big change. I put shorter cranks and steeper offset forks on last time I replaced that stuff, but after five minutes I didn’t notice a difference. I don’t think I’d really change anything up. I have a separate bike with a freecoaster and brakes that I’ll play around on sometimes, but it’s not that fun for the way I prefer to ride.

In case you missed it, or just want to peep it again, Ryan’s Animal San Fran Cuts video…