Mark Reilly cut his teeth – or learned his way around frame mitring tools and welding torches – at Omega and Enigma bikes before going it alone, latterly setting up as Brighton-based Reilly Cycle Works. His eponymous T325 Road is a thing of beauty, titanium’s shiny silver contrasting with blue detailing on the logo and headset – though the frame anodising did add a hefty £399 to the price.
Talking of price, my Reilly is a far-from-inexpensive £3,798, but the T325 starts at £2,500 for Shimano 105 and Fulcrum Racing 5s, while the disc-braked 105-equipped T325 starts at £2,999. Both seem reasonable given the quality.
Reilly says the T325 – the name referring to the usual 3Al/2.5V titanium alloy – is equally at home “on longer sportives as well as the race track”.
The tubes are ‘multi-butted’ to reduce frame weight to around 1,275g and cold-worked and stress-relieved for strength. The down tube is oversized and it comes with the now rarely-seen 31.6mm seatpost, in this case a Reilly-branded carbon model, but Reilly has stuck with a more traditional threaded bottom bracket.
Hunt 36 Carbon Wide Aero wheels that weigh just 1,417g. David Caudery / Immediate Media
This bike is a racy affair, favouring fast speeds over comfort and versatility. That’s evident in the shortish race-friendly head tube and that efficiency-emphasising seatpost.
Yes, you can feel the extra stiffness, and in spite of titanium’s reputation for ‘springiness’ and suppleness Reilly’s T325 is more racing snake than shire horse.
Its raciness is emphasised further by the killer wheelset that’s specced to show off the T325 to the fullest. The Hunt 36 Carbon Wide Aero wheels are an £849 pair with a low 1,417g weight that helps to keep the T325 down to 7.51kg and its 36mm-deep, 27mm-wide rims make the Reilly come alive.
They’re designed for criteriums, climbing and undulating terrain and are good enough for the UCI Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes pro team. Their T700/T800 carbon fibre rims have a 3K-reinforced Griptec friction braking track and braking with the supplied pads was excellent, powerful, controlled and while not quite silent, braking noise was barely noticeable. And while they will add a little weight, disc brakes are also an option.
The tyres are of a similar quality and my first experience of Continental’s GP5000 TL tyres in a 25mm width. They measure a shade over 26mm on the Hunt rims and, running them tubeless, they proved fast, comfortable and grippy. I would normally go for the slightly plumper 28mm tyres but the lower pressure and increased comfort of running these Contis tubeless meant the extra 3mm was not missed.
Race-friendly credentials include a shortish head tube. David Caudery / Immediate Media
The Reilly stem and Deda’s Superzero carbon bar also lean towards the racier end of the spectrum; the stiff, light bar featuring teardrop-shaped tops for an aerodynamic advantage and a shallow, compact drop that you can get to quickly from the tops.
When you’re pedalling, the T325 is a stealth fighter. By contrast, when freewheeling you’re accompanied by the sound of a buzzsaw – I loved it. And this Reilly proved a fast-moving weapon of a road bike, the light (for titanium) frame and quality wheelset offering pace, poise and spot-on handling.
The T325 flies, it purrs, it sings – accompanied by an Albert Hall-sized choir – and before we go all Private Eye’s Pseuds’ Corner, you can get a whole life of fun on this. Unlike most carbon frames, this ti frame comes with a lifetime guarantee for the original owner.
I blew the budget kitting this out, but reckon that Reilly’s stock T325 with Shimano 105 will offer you about 90 per cent of the ride and 95 per cent of the fun for about 60 per cent of the price – the life of Reilly!
The Reilly proved to be a fast-moving weapon of a bike. Russell Burton
Reilly T325 geometry
Seat angle: 73 degrees
Head angle: 72 degrees
Seat tube: 47.3cm
Top tube: 53.5cm
Fork offset: 4.6cm
Bottom bracket height: 26.4cm