This review was first published on our sister site Bike Radar
Mark Reilly cut his teeth – or learned his way around 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. The T325 is a far from inexpensive at £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 are 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’, and this is the most aggressive and lightest of our test trio, sneaking under Sabbath’s similar, though slightly heavier, Mondays Child.
The tubes are ‘multi-butted’ to reduce frame weight to 1,275g and stress-relieved for strength. The down tube is oversized and comes with the now rarely seen 31.6mm seatpost, in this case a Reilly-branded carbon model.
This bike favours 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 specced by Mark Reilly to show off the T325 to the fullest.
The low 1,417g weight of the Hunt 36 Carbon Wide Aero wheels helps to keep the T325 down to 7.51kg, while the 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 pro team.
Braking with the supplied pads is controlled and, while not quite silent, braking noise is rarely noticeable. The tyres are of a similar quality, measuring a shade over 26mm on the Hunt rims and, running them tubeless, they prove fast, comfy and grippy. We’d normally go for the plumper 28mm tyres, but the increased comfort of running these tubeless meant the extra 3mm isn’t missed. The Reilly stem and Deda’s Superzero carbon bar also lean towards the racier end of the spectrum, with the stiff, light bar featuring teardrop-shaped tops for an aero advantage.
When you’re pedalling, the T325 is a stealth fighter. By contrast, when freewheeling you’re accompanied by the sound of a buzzsaw – we loved it. And this Reilly proved a fast-moving weapon of a road bike, with the light (for titanium) frame and quality wheelset offering pace, poise and spot-on handling.
The T325 flies, it purrs, it sings! And unlike most carbon frames, it comes with a lifetime guarantee for the original owner. We blew our budget kitting this out, but we reckon Reilly’s stock T325 with Shimano 105 will offer you 90% of the ride and 95% of the fun for about 60% of the price – the life of Reilly!
More to spend?
The majority of ti bikes are made with 3Al/2.5V alloy. The Reilly T640 (£4,499) is made from the harder-to-work with but stronger 6Al/4V (6% alu, 4% vanadium). It comes with Shimano Dura-Ace and looks fantastic.
Less to spend?
Stock T325 models, meanwhile, start at £2,500 with Shimano 105
Verdict: It’s an absolute blast, a two-wheeled treat that never stops delivering the thrills. It’s fast, sufficiently comfy rather than sofa-soft, and its directness has an appeal that never stops giving. 92%
Buy from www.reillycycleworks.com