Gary Fisher is known as one of the originators of the modern mountain bike. Firstly as one of the Repack riders from Mt. Tam in the mid to late 70's, modding Schwinn cruisers - known as "clunkers" - for downhill racing, and eventually for riding the bikes back up the hill. And he's also one of the originators of the "29er" - mountain bikes with 700c wheels rather than the 26" standard size, which has now become a standard size.
He was a very good racer, on the road, and in the dirt, and was pretty clearly a fan of cyclocross.
This then leads cycling weirdos to label it a "monster cross" bike. I love that people mash-up parts like this, but I can't figure how a monster cross bike is different than a gravel bike. To me, gravel bikes just seem to be 29er hardtails with drop bars and skinnier tires. And so the monster cross bike is a gravel bike with fatter tires? Or is it a 29er hardtail with drop bars?
I doesn't matter to me - as long as it works and people like riding them.
The Hybrid was a very nice bike. I remember being very smitten with the one at George's. Looking at it though, I don't know why you'd name this bike "Hybrid" when it's pretty clearly built as a CX bike.
I wonder if the Sphinx wasn't just a renamed continuation of the Hybrid, especially since it was built the same way.
It's a very cool bike, and I'm happy that old mechanics like myself are taking pics of weird stuff that com into their shops and getting them on the Internet. I found the Sphinx thanks to this post on CX Magazine, and they found it thanks to a mechanic at one of the oldest bike shops in America, Pullins Cycle in Chico, CA, taking pics of this one below when it came in for service.
It's the kind of thing that really makes me want to work in a shop again.