Wide handlebars = Good!
I have been meaning to change my handlebars for the last few months. I believe that handlebars have a limited life, and that 3 years of thrashing my current ones was long enough. The current bars are Ritchey WCS Carbon with about a 40mm rise and 660mm wide, which is narrower than what I would like.
I finally got around to putting new handlebars on my 5 Spot last night. My new bars are a nice pair of Kore Torsion Race bars. 800mm wide (at the moment) with a 20mm rise. Had a play on them today and the difference is amazing!! So much more lateral balance and so much more control of the front wheel!!
I spent many years riding a hardtail with a short down hill stem and 710 wide Azonic bars, and really like the feel of these. When I got the 5 Spot I got the Ritchey bars without really trying them out, and had not realised that they were a bit narrower, and so put them on the bike and rode. Recently I have been riding a number of more challenging tracks more regularly, and I have been looking for a bit more control. Putting on a wider bar is definitely going to help that. It might not help me squeeze through the gaps between trees that my current handlebars only just fitted through, but it will give me more control everywhere else!
At 800mm wide it looks like overkill at the moment, and I think I will cut them down a little. I currently have the grips sitting at about 750mm wide at the moment, and that is feeling about right. I will try that for a couple of rides before they get the chop! Mmm new wide bars = good!!
 About 2 weeks later I cut these bars down to 750 mm wide. I like them at this width and I really like the shape (sweep and rise) of the Kore Torsion bars.