About Wheelworks

Those guys in Japan and Italy make great rear derailleurs, but when it comes to wheels they don’t know you.  They don’t know how much you weigh, what your riding style is like, or what looks good in your eyes.

Wheelworks has been created by Tristan Thomas with the express aim of building and customizing wheels to best suit the customers’ needs and desires.

The goal for Wheelworks is to provide excellent customer service combined with premium quality wheels,  all to highest quality mechanical standards.

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Tristan Thomas


Tristan entered the bicycle industry in 1999 after several years as a Glider Instructor Pilot. He started working in a bike shop on Vancouver Island, just a few hours drive from Vancouver’s famous North Shore.

Arriving in New Zealand early in 2002 as part of a break from University he traveled around New Zealand. Shortly after arriving in Wellington he fell in love with the city and with one of its female residents, and at the end of his year ‘holiday’ made the decision to make New Zealand his home.

During next four years he worked in some of Wellington’s largest bicycle stores. Frustrated by a lack of expertise within many stores, and seemingly poor attitudes towards the importance of mechanical quality and workmanship he established Wheelworks. At Wheelworks the service offered does not compromise mechanical excellence for the bottom line.

Tristan studied Mechanical Engineering at the Wellington Institute of Technology and worked with their Centre for Smart Product which interfaces with local companies to assist with the design of innovative products for national and international markets.  This technical and engineering experience is clearly reflected in the Wheelworks philosophy of wheelbuilding.

Tristan is a regular contributor to New Zealand Road Cyclist as well as New Zealand Mountain Biker magazine and is a member of PNP’s Road sub-comittee.  Professional teams such as Orica-Greenedge and Budget Forklifts have called upon his race-mechanic skills, and he’s built his own bicycle frame.

tristan@wheelworks.co.nz  |  ph: 04 387 3592  |  mob: 027 494 5967  |  Skype: tristan_wheelworks
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Jesse Patel – Customer Experience


Jesse has a background working with gourmet coffee and high-end bicycles.  His introduction to Wheelworks was while working in a local bike shop and suffering continual problems with broken spokes on his ‘factory’ wheels.  He purchased a pair of Pacenti rims on Chris King hubs from us, was impressed by the service and the wheels, and applied for a job.

Jesse came to cycling after a promising career in running where he developed a huge motor and represented New Zealand.  Now a versatile rider who enjoys all forms of cycling, Jesse competes in cross-country and cyclocross races as well as dabbling in road riding and racing and completing the occasional Brevet.  The only thing bigger than Jesse’s passion for bikes is his appetite.

Jesse spends an inordinate amount of time making sure his glasses match his socks so he’s the perfect guy to ensure your new wheels are a perfect match for your bike.

jesse@wheelworks.co.nz  |  ph: 04 387 3592

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Gavin McCarthy – Wheelbuilder


Gavin is the main wheelbuilder at Wheelworks. He’s been working on bikes for over twenty years – basically his entire adult life.

Gavin’s all about making great things better and he loves working with people as well as twiddling spokes. He’s certified by Shimano, Mavic, and the Chicago Area Bicycle Dealers’ Association (no, that is not a gang but we agree it does sound like one).

As well as working on bikes and building beautiful wheels, Gavin has what can only be described as an obsession with bicycles. While most of us are the bike equivalent of trainspotters, Gavin really takes the biscuit. He owns more than 20 bikes (he didn’t have an accurate number) and even has a GT RTS-1 and a Dave Wein’s era Diamondback Apex (those of you in the know will know . . . )

He has more pairs of Oakleys than there are days in 2 weeks, and owns every Mountain Bike Action magazine published in the past 24 years.

His racing matches his passion for owning and working on bikes. He’s been racing for more than 20 years and has never quit. Seriously. He has no DNFs on his record, including that one race where he broken his arm. He’s been the NZ Senior Men’s MTB champion, he’s raced the World Cup, he has 3 podiums at Karapoti, and most impressive of all he’s won the Wednesday World Champs.

So, if you’re looking for a great pair of wheels built by a man in the know and of the religion that is cycling, look no further than Gavin.

Oh, and he’s a hell of a nice guy. You should call him, I did mention he loves working with people.

gavin@wheelworks.co.nz  |  ph: 04 387 3592