About Wheelworks


Tristan Thomas – Owner

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 travelled 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-committee.  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

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…) and has the shed to beat all sheds.

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’s the reigning Oceania Hill Climb Champ, he has 3 podiums at Karapoti, and most impressive of all he’s won the Wednesday World Champs.

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.

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


Liam Boot – Wheelbuilder

Liam is the newest member of our 4 man team.  He came to us as a very enthusiastic young lad from small-town Gisborne and hit the ground running under the wing of head wheelbuilder Gavin.

Liam’s job interview included an informal fish and chip lunch to see if he could take a good ribbing from the team:  We work in a small space and team dynamic is incredibly important.  Liam not only contributed some good lunchtime banter but spent the afternoon demonstrating his attention to detail on the series of tests we’d laid out.  After months of training under the watchful eyes of Gavin and Tristan he’s a simply brilliant wheelbuilder.

Liam spends his spare time pushing bikes up hills and jumping everything in sight on the way down. Fishing is a new hobby for Liam but he is yet to prove that anything other than starfish can be caught in the Wellington region but we hold faith that one day he will bring us lunch.

Rod Bardsley – Ambassador

The man is a paradox:  Rod is a nice guy but his alter-ego TheRodFather is a twat.  He is both a trendsetter and a retrogrouch.

Rod is a pillar of mountain biking in New Zealand.  He’s a skilled rider and with over 30 years of mountain biking has a deep understanding of all things two-wheeled and has plenty of stories to share.

Rod is a long-time contributor to Spoke Magazine and dishes out smacktalk and useful advice in equal measure at therodfather.co.nz


Kim Hurst – Ambassador