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I currently have a 2016 trek slash 9.9 I bought used last season. I mostly go to downhill parks with my son in the Northeast (Killington, highland, thunder mountain, powder ridge (local to us in CT)), but also a bit of trail riding. I am working on my jumping/drops, I'd say still beginner/intermediate at best (just started getting comfortable will the jumps on blue magic @ killington for example). I mostly like riding flow trails but sometimes will do techincal if roped in my others Im riding with.

I obviously don't need a new bike/not pushing the limits of this bike, but the Yeti SB165 is looking pretty sweet to me so was considering upgrading. Am I actually going to feel a difference switching bikes at all or will it basically be the same for me (other than looking cooler with the coil shock and blue or green frame)? Has anything changed in bike geometry/technology where someone who is more beginner/intermediate would benefit?
 

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This is a handy website for comparing bikes, but the short answer is a bike from the last few years is likely to have benefits in stability, pedaling, and climbing, dropper compatibility, as well as likely better suspension (depending on how well the older bike was maintained and serviced). I used the 18.5 inch slash compared to a large yeti, but you can go in and change settings as desired.
 

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Probably you're right. You'll look cooler on the Yeti. To some riders. For now that's the benefit.
As you ride more, more benefits will accrue.
I'd recommend a Forbidden Druid instead. More cred. More handling benefits from te rear suspension pivotting back on impact.


 

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Has anything changed in bike geometry/technology where someone who is more beginner/intermediate would benefit?
Probably. My understanding is that coils do have a significantly different feel and performance. If you have a 2016 fork, there's no question that going to a 180mm Fox 38 will be quite a change for the better, particularly with the Grip 2. Even on my 140 fork, that was a huge upgrade in performance over previous dampers.
It's been 5 years. If your Slash was stock, I'd say it's likely you'd see a difference, particularly as you improve.
 
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