Losing Mark Reilly earlier this year was a huge blow to the bicycle community. Mark was integral to the fabric of the UK framebuilding scene for over 30 years and a permanent fixture at the handmade bicycle show Bespoked.
To honour his life-long passion for bikes, Reilly Cycleworks has created the Legacy frameset. This limited-edition, hand built steel road frame is crafted in Reynolds 753 tubing with stainless polished lugs and can be viewed for the very first time at Bespoked #10 together with a collection of classic Mark Reilly frames from the past three decades.
Mark started building steel frames in the back room of his bike shop, Bexley Spoke, in the early 90s. He was largely self-taught but acknowledged that he learnt much from working alongside master framebuilder Ron Cooper, who himself served an apprenticeship with A.S. Gillott Bicycles in the late 1940s. Quite some lineage!
It wasn’t until Mark moved to Swanley and established Omega Cycleworks, with patternmaker Neil FitzGerald, that the vision really started to take shape; a vision of beautifully crafted, fillet brazed or lugged steel frames for all disciplines and smooth tig welded aluminium frames for racing and time trials.
In pushing the envelope of frame design and bike geometry, Mark quickly fell in love with the ‘magical’ properties of titanium. Its comfort and strength make it the perfect choice for adventure riding, audaxing, touring, sportives and gravel. Mark was an early advocate and titanium is inextricably woven into the DNA of every brand he helped shape.
Mark’s talent touched so many in the bike business. He set up and ran the workshop for Jim Walker at Enigma Titanium for 8 years. He consulted for Dave Loughran and Jamie Burrow on Holdsworth / Planet X before Jamie moved to Ribble. He taught Matthew Sowter from Saffron Frameworks (and Jon “Chickens”) a framebuilding trick or two, in addition to running regular masterclasses with Roberts’ veteran, Adrian Parry of Six Four Frameworks. Mark also built for cycling pros and cited his frames for Bjarne Riis, Brian Holm and close friend Sean Yates, among his favourites.
Mark’s final venture - Reilly Cycleworks - was established initially as Nerve Bicycles in 2014, with long-time collaborator Neil FitzGerald. Reilly intends to respect Mark’s rich legacy by continuing to innovate in both steel and titanium and create beautifully designed, well-crafted forever bikes.