might want to consider narrowing up the bars. I cut mine down to the same width as my 26er with no loss of function. There's nothing like stopping instantly between two trees you used to make it through with no problem.
That will happen one day for sure - yikes! They suggested 27" to start. My old bike was 24" and I always seemed short of real estate for map holder, bike computer and lights. I may think about taking off an inch though; it does feel like more than I need. I've been following their recommendations to start since everything feels weird and unnatural after 25 years on a 26er but it's not necessarily wrong.
What's with the imperial measurements? Handlebars are all measured in mm around here... ;)
Personally I would strongly recommend holding off cutting bars down until you've ridden them for a while. No going back once you cut them shorter and given the bike you bought I'd imagine the bars aren't cheap...
I'd describe myself as a wide handlebar skeptic for a long time but they do make a difference in bike control for technical descents or fast trails. I also prefer the hand position when climbing. Now this may not be as relevant if you aren't riding long fast descents but if you ever come out to BC you will appreciate the extra width... and people won't snicker at your bike with narrow bars (only half joking...).
I ride 720mm and 730mm on my bikes. Could see going up to 750mm maybe - don't think I'll ever need to go up to 800mm+ unless I was racing DH. Courtney rides a 700mm bar. I swapped my 640mm bar on the Epic last year for a 730mm bar and the bike handles way better. I wouldn't suggest going much shorter than 680mm but if anyone wants to I've got a nice 640mm carbon flat bar for sale...
Yes certain trails will have sections where you barely fit the bars through - overall you'll get used to the width.
Having said all that it still is personal preference and your style of riding and local trails will influence things a lot. Smaller riders will usually use narrower bars. Very windy trails will also favour narrower bars. Keep in mind that if you adjust your bar length it will change the fit of the bike (Ive heard the rule of thumb to lengthen the stem by 10mm for every 20mm you cut off the bar and vice versa).
Anyway just some more food for thought.
I don't know why handlebars are measured in inches here! Also, seats and derailleurs are measured in grams while the overall weight of the bike was measured as 25 lb. And I think I was charged in Euros! ;)
Hmm, my bars have already been cut down to 686 mm, which was the bike shop's recommendation. That's in the ballpark of Courtney's 700 mm and so far I haven't hit anything! I think I'll give it awhile longer before making any changes. I'm still getting used to everything.
My previous bike had a 27 inch bar that felt super wide at first but I followed the shop recommendation and didn't cut it at first. I think I eventually took 1 cm off each side but at first I thought I would cut more.
My new bike came with a 760 mm bar and I again waited before cutting it. I've quickly grown to like it, haven't cut it, and don't hit trees as often as I did at first. Carbon trimmed her's down to 730 mm and seems to like it. I've since ridden friends' older bikes with 26 and 27 inch bars and they feel too narrow to control as well.
When we rode Silvercup Ridge last fall, my hands were almost sliding off the ends on one downhill section because my body wanted even wider bars than the 760 mm that I ride and like!