Anyway, the point is the bike doesnt really matter as much as the skill of the rider... This is certainly true when folks ask "will my bike beat my buddies bike..." But when I'm SHOPPING for a bike, the "skill of the rider" portion of the equation is fixed: me. Then the differences in bikes absolutely comes into play. A given rider at pretty much any skill level will almost always be faster on the lighter, more powerful R than the heavier L (modifications to either bike being held equal). Of course, this begs the questions of whether faster is neccessary, better, or worth the extra expense and compromise.