. . . . pre-96/97, everyone had 1" head tubes, stack headsets and top loader stems. so those SLAMS felt an inch taller than today with integrated headsets and front-loader stems. 9 just puts the grips back where they were.
tall set ups feel really good if you are, well...tall. 8.5" bars do make since considering many people run 8"ers with spacers under the stem. on my 20 i run 7.9" WTP heliums with 3 or 4 spacers under the stem. it feels like money. they are also just under 26" wide and feel really good. on my 26er i run 1.5x28" bars with a number of spacers under the stem and it feels good, just switched from running some 3x25-26" bars and i really love the wider feel but would like more rise.
the solid bars are crazy...i wouldn't mind seeing if more then 28" wide feels good or not.
that's ridiculous, I really could not ride those...
I think i'm siting at 7.5 X <26 and I'm thinking about cutting them narrower.
that and about 8" of seat tube (so my seat is between my knees, where i like it) makes people say my bike looks weird, kinda out of the 90s. but whatever, it rides nice and that makes it look good to me.