Monstercross bikes have been around for a while, but the trend seems to have exploded in the last few years with more people wanting to get out and ride right from home, get off the road away from cars, and explore a greater variety of terrain.
Recently folks have also realized that tire manufacturers have a backlog of XC race tires that are only mildly heavier than a cross tire and share similar riding characteristics with the added benefit of high volume and tougher sidewalls - awesome stuff!
This bike was originally built for myself to try out the platform and it was a blast! Key features include cranks and an early prototype headset from White Industries, A 1x11 drive train with an 11-46T cassette - crucial for adventurizing. This bike also has a dropper post which is actuated by the modified left shifter lever - super trick.
This monstercross bike is running the Maxxis Aspen tires as pictured. The unicrown fork has a custom build "basket rack" to use for touring. I did a couple of multi-day tours on this bike and it was so good. The big tires provided awesome comfort and ease of mind when we found some rooty, rocky singletrack.
Monstercross is here to stay!