Sea Otter Classic 2024: Hudski Bikes Doggler V3 – All the Updates

The Radavist thanks 1-Up USA for sponsoring our Sea Otter Classic 2024 coverage!

At Sea Otter Classic 2024, John caught up with Hudski Bikes to check out their new V3 Doggler prototype. If you recall, John loved the Hudski Doggler V2 he reviewed last year and made some mindful notes of what he’d change in the next version of this affordable jack-of-all-trades flat bar bike. Did Hudski read his notes? Read on to find out…

Hudski Doggler Catch-Up

Out of all the bikes I reviewed last year, the Doggler was by far the most affordable and packed the biggest bang-to-buck ratio. As in, it bucked me around, and I banged all sorts of rocks and roots as I pushed the “underbike” limit of this $2,000 shred sled. But man. It’s a fun(ny) looking bike! Its polarizing appearance aside, this bike impressed me on all fronts.

Like a Late Devonian Period lobe-finned fish emerging from prehistoric lakes or a weird genetic experiment from The Island of Dr. Moreau (1977 version), the Doggler looks like a cross between a drop-bar bike and a mountain bike.

Yet, when it came to reviewing the bike, I hit a wall with my TL;DR and the Pros and Cons list. I wanted to be mindful of the Doggler’s intent while being constructive in my feedback. Small brands like Hudski are often side hustles or part-time passion projects, and every word you type can positively or negatively impact those brands and their products.

Running an independent media company is a lot like running an independent component or bicycle company. Everything we do comes from the heart; while we don’t always nail the landing, our intent always comes from a place of love for cycling and evolving our work. That’s how I felt about the Doggler. I could feel the stoke and love the brand puts into what it does. They make a damn capable, damn fun, and a damn affordable bike that oozes cool and uniqueness in a dry lakebed of banality.

We’re all in this weird industry because we fucking love bikes, and being critical for the sake of it is a tired trope, but I wanted this bike to realize its full potential, so I offered some notes. The V2 struggled a bit with its identity, but the V3 updates clearly place this bike in one court.

V3 Updates

“We made a lot of updates to the V3, including many of your notes in your review.” Brian Szykowny from Hudski noted as we looked over the V3 Doggler on display. My heart jumped excitedly as I peered at the rear derailleur line visible through the drive-side chainstay. “Is that the derailleur cable?” “It is…” Brian replied as he dug through Hudski’s horse trailer, which had been converted into a Sea Otter Booth. He emerged with a 3D-printed model of the new clamshell bottom bracket cluster.

“Now the rear derailleur housing goes into the downtube, emerges from the bottom bracket, and routes back into the chainstay,” he continued. The updates didn’t end there…

Addressing a few of my critiques, Hudski gave the bike boost spacing for stronger wheels and mountain bike drivetrains, a higher bottom bracket, and more robust post-mount brakes. They then upped the ante and continued to massage the Doggler V3. They flip-chipped the fork for either a 54 mm or 44 mm offset and added a flip chip in the dropout to run two chainstay lengths, 435 mm or 450 mm, depending on wheel and tire combinations.

V3 runs either 29er or 27.5″ wheels. The new fork will clear 29 x 2.5″ or 27.5 x 2.8″ with the 450 mm chainstay length, and the forward position, 435 mm, will clear 29 x 2.4″ max.

The Doggler will come specced with a PNW Components dropper, Longhorn bars, and a Shimano drivetrain. It has ALL THE MOUNTS for racks and fenders. The complete size XL I documented yesterday weighs 24 lbs and has the same top tube and downtube spec, which gave the bike a softer edge and some nice flex compared to the aluminum mountain bikes I rode in the late 90s and early aughts.

That’s all we’ve got for now. Expect future updates as events warrant, but the rough plan is to have these available this summer… Are you as stoked as I am to see this rigid MTB coming in at $2,200?

Many thanks to Hudski Bikes for the hangs yesterday. Well done, dudes!