Well, there's clearly something special about them. With that in mind, I want you to imagine two lifelong friends who decided to start their own business in an already saturated market. That alone is a struggle. Then, the boys decided to create a sort of one-size-fits-all frame that is suitable for just about any cycling activity you can think of. Thus, the Doggler was born.
What I mean when I say 'one-size-fits-all' is that the frame and fork that Hudski builds can be used with an array of secondary gear to result in builds suitable for gravel domination, mountain biking, bikepacking, and urban riding. Yet, it helps to know that the geometry of the frame is "loosely based on modern trail bikes." But things needed to be taken a bit further, so XC and gravel cues were also added to the frameset geometry. It's this base that allows you to basically build whatever kind of bicycle you want.
Overall, both the frame and fork design are in-house ideas, but assembly is actually carried out in Taiwan at a factory that puts together "high-end aluminum full suspension mountain bikes and e-bikes." We aren't told which factory precisely, but Hudski chose this space for construction because the Taiwan crew is known for their "weld quality, commitment to testing, and accurate material properties." In short, you shouldn't have any worries about the frame.
Part two of the frameset is made up of the fork. What we see here is nothing more than a carbon fiber component with no suspension. But I thought this was supposed to also be a "mountain bike?" Well, that's true, and while you won't be dropping off any cliffs or grabbing airtime with this fork, single tracks, and dirt roads can still be accessed.
If you're like me and want a bit more suspension than just the vibration-reducing properties of a Toray carbon fork, you can switch it out with a component of your liking as long as the dimensions adhere to Hudski standards. Before you do, take the time to hit a few trails with the carbon version because the manufacturer has created a fork that works perfectly with the frame it's on.
What does all this mean for folks like me and you? Nothing more than versatility. Hudski's website currently offers three versions of the Doggler, a gravel machine, one for city riding and another for bikepacking. But no matter which version you choose, you'll be dishing out the same price, $2,200 (€2,050 at current exchange rates) for your own Doggler.
Now, most of the components on each version are mostly the same. For example, all three types include a dropper post, even the urban version. All three bikes also employ the same SLX 1x12 drivetrain and SLX brakes with 160 mm (6.3 in) rotors. But, the major differences lie in features such as the wheels, tires, and handlebars.
While you would expect the city bike to stick solely to the urban landscape, Hudski informs us that it's suitable for both paved and unpaved roads. Considering it's rocking 29-inch tires, covering ground should feel a whole lot like riding a hardtail MTB. The Maxxis Grifter rubbers include a cross-section of 2 in, helping soften up cracks in the road and the occasional interaction with a curb.
The final variation of the Doggler is the mountain bike. Again, we see the same carbon fork, an SLX drivetrain, but grip and comfort are dependent on a pair of Maxxis Rekon Exo with 27.5 inches. A 2.6-inch cross-section expands your contact patch with more lateral stability and grip than the other two versions. Oh, and that stock dropper post will help you include rougher portions of track and trail than you typically could. Oh, this is also the heaviest of the three bikes, cruising in with a weight of just 24.9 pounds (11.3 kilograms).
Now that you have an idea of just how versatile the Hudski's Doggler can be, there's just one thing to do: find one, give it a good ol' whip around the block or a local track, and go from there. Or grab one direct from Hudski, and return it within 30 days if you're not happy with your two-wheeler. But the catch is that it must present itself as "brand new, unused, and in a re-sellable condition." Sure, a small catch, but you can find a way to test its abilities without damaging anything.