About the Team

We focus our products and services where we can have the greatest impact on your ride. Wheelworks Handcrafted Wheels and Suspension Works make up our current family of businesses. Together, the team works hard across both businesses, united by the same purpose: to optimise your ride.

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Tristan – Founder, Owner, Spokesman

Tristan first entered the bicycle industry in 1999 on Vancouver Island, Canada. Fostering a love for bicycles, he backed his career by studying Mechanical Engineering, fusing his adept handicraft with his love for bikes. Equipped with these, he began Wheelworks out of a quest to optimise ride performance.

He is obsessive about mechanical standards and high workmanship, which is what sets the prestigious standards for what Wheelworks delivers. Tristan is responsible for both designing and building all the proprietary software and tooling at Wheelworks.

His fascination with tuning technical details made starting Suspension Works a natural choice.  He saw how capable modern suspension systems are and how they are just as impactful on bike performance as wheels. It’s possible to turn an ‘average’ bike into a great performer with the right wheels and correct suspension.

Tristan has owned bikes across nearly every category: road, MTB, fixie, breakaway, BMX, trials, CX, Track, eBikes and acoustic. He raced on the road for years in New Zealand; but don’t let that fool you, he is equally skilled on a Mountain Bike – he grew up riding Canada’s North Shore and Vancouver Island in his formative years.

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Gavin – Head Wheelbuilder

Gavin has been working on bikes for over 20 years. He loves bikes, seriously. Gav’s garage hosts 20+ bikes at any time, not to mention the museum’s worth of parts and memorabilia. 

He is driven by a joy of making great things better, which is why we love him on the tools. He is detail oriented and incredibly focused, so it’s no surprise that he is certified by Shimano, Mavic and the Chicago Area Bicycle Dealers’ Association.

His passion for owning and working on bikes is matched only by his passion for racing. He’s been racing for more than 20 years and has never quit. Ever. He has no DNF’s on his record, including that one race where he broke his arm. He’s been the NZ Senior Men’s MTB champion, he’s raced the UCI MTB World Cup, he has podiumed multiple times at Karapoti and most impressive of all: he’s won Wednesday World’s.

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Jake – Suspension Technician

Jake has over 14 years experience as a professional mechanic, working and travelling in the pursuit of bikes. He has worked at UCI Downhill World Cups and spun wrenches at Queenstown’s premium bike shop: Bikeaholic. Plus, he has over 20 years of riding under his belt and is a Kona Ambassador. 

To say Jake’s knowledge of suspension and bike set up is extensive would be an understatement. He is especially talented in guiding others to their optimum set up; whether that’s setting bikes up to destroy everything in their path or maximising efficiency for those KOM’s.

Jake found himself in Queenstown in 2015 after chasing summer riding through Whistler and Vancouver, but has found home in Wellington when Suspension Works started in 2020. 

When not in the shop, you’ll find him out riding, shooting photos or building trails. Jake is big on supporting efforts to build and maintain MTB trails in Wellington, especially our local gem: Mt. Victoria.

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Erin – General Manager

Erin has over 15 years in data driven and customer relationship marketing businesses, with roles ranging from client, insight and production management to team and project leadership, even executive level experience acting as Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Loyalty New Zealand.

She’s pivotal in keeping our customers’ experience front and centre. Leveraging a BCA in Management and Marketing and BA in Philosophy, she drives our strategy and is always finding new ways to enable the team to do their best work.

A Wellingtonian born and bred, Erin is a professional bike race supporter; handing out bidons, taking photos, driving the team car and issuing goo.

She identifies as a foodie, (and a bit of a wine snob), which accentuates her love of travel and exploration – especially in NZ. Her current fitness obsession is walking – taking advantage of the amazing trails in Wellington and around NZ.

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Andrew – Sales (Mountain Bikes)

“Varied” doesn’t begin to describe Andrew’s background: he’s worked as a trader in investment banks in NZ and London, he’s been a design tutor and exhibiting photographer, and he’s built and sold his own business as a governance and advisory specialist. He holds degrees in mathematics, design and fine arts, and is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors in NZ, having chaired boards in industries as diverse as certifying modified vehicles, milking sheep and playing ultimate frisbee.  

Here at Wheelworks, Andrew is all about understanding you, the customer, and meeting your needs and expectations. He has a passion for grasping the bigger picture and can quickly figure out how things work together; which is perfect when optimising mountain bike performance. A keen listener and problem-solver, Andrew will work with you to find solutions which exceed your expectations.

Andrew joined Wheelworks after being a long time customer and advocate for the business. When the opportunity arose to join the team and help others experience the quality and performance of Wheelworks handcrafted wheels, it was too good to miss. It truly is a labour of love.

Andrew’s been passionate about bikes and riding since getting his first banana-seat Chopper in the 1970’s. Even at the age of seven he was spending his Christmas money on mods and upgrades. He races on the road, plays in the mountains and most recently he’s been active in long-distance multi-day adventures such as Tour Aotearoa and Kopiko Aotearoa. 

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Carl – Sales (Road & Gravel)

Carl’s passion for building relationships in the cycling community is foundational in his large resumé of self-started events and projects.  Some highlights include a series of “Strava art” rides (including that Laser Kiwi and the… ‘Big Cock’ charity fundraiser), as well as curating a 4.9 star Airbnb Cycling Experience. His company TORQ Events has successfully run multiple large cycling challenges and fundraisers, especially during the extended Covid lockdowns.

He is a strong communicator, active listener and keen networker. Carl works to develop our relationships with our customers, as well as the larger communities we are part of. He leverages his quirky sense of humour and lighthearted nature to keep us pointed toward lifelong products and relationships.

A holder of multiple passports, Carl emigrated from Boston, USA in 2007 to establish his career as a musician.  The proximity of New Zealand’s wild roads to the city led him to fall in love with cycling: first as an overtraining, underachieving club racer – and more recently as a way to take on remote mixed surface adventures.  

Besides training on the bike, Carl maintains high performance standards on the french horn as a member of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.  He has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto, and a reputation as an inspiring teacher.  As an orchestral musician, he understands the value of a quality product for a discerning audience.

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Jacob – Design & Marketing

Jacob’s roots are deep in design and marketing. He obtained his BA in Graphic Design and Leadership from Oregon State University, where he also found a passion for adventure sports. He has grown multiple brands across beer, varsity sports, underwear and outdoor products. His creativity and curiosity often intersect as he finds himself pulling both bikes and design projects to pieces. He’s worked as an in-house designer, as well as a freelancer; where his focus on understanding the essence of his projects has yielded impactful results. 

As a seasoned story-teller, he pulls from multiple channels to bring the Wheelworks and Suspension Works brands to life. He is driven to keep our content authentic and steer our communications in the right direction. He believes in what we do and has a lot of fun delivering our visual needs.

He came to New Zealand in 2019 from Oregon, USA on a holiday to visit family, but decided to settle-in after a strange bug flew by. Enamoured by the wild environments and chatty residents he has nested in Wellington for its coffee, beer and accessibility to the outdoors.

He relishes finding challenges and loves all things outdoors. He cycles through a robust schedule of mountain biking, rock climbing and whitewater kayaking; glueing it all together with time in his art studio.