Legendary World Cup Mechanic Dave Garland Passes Away

Nov 29, 2020
by James Smurthwaite  

Legendary World Cup mechanic and owner of Stendec suspension, Dave Garland, has passed away. Dave passed away after a suspected heart attack whilst out on the trails doing what we all love.

Garland had more than 20 years' worth of experience on the World Cup circuit working with brands including Giant, Canyon and Saracen. Most famously, Garland began working with two-time World Champion Danny Hart from the age of 11 and continued to assist him throughout his career, including during his famous 2011 win in Champery. Garland was also the man behind Super Alloy Racing Springs, the choice of many top World Cup racers. In later years, Garland took all his experience setting up racers' bikes to create Stendec suspension, a telemetry system designed to perfect suspension set up.

Talking Telemetry with Dave Garland.

Pinkbike's Si Paton posted the following excerpt from a Pinkbike report about the BDS Academy in tribute, where Garland volunteered his time to help support young, British women racers.

bigquotes‘Perhaps the 'Jewel in the Crown' of the academy, Stendec's Dave Garland looking at all things bike from a mechanics perspective. Dave has over 25 years of experience at World Cup Level, one of his many success stories would be that he was Danny Hart's Mechanic for the Giant Factory Off-Road Racing Team at Champery in Switzerland for the 2011 UCI Downhill World Championships where Danny so famously took the win.

Emilia Woods's father summed it up rather well, "Regards Dave’s input on setting up DH bikes alone. Having him advising on Emi’s Mondraker Summum is a bit like getting Lewis Hamilton’s top engineer to look at my Mercedes Vito van".

Our thoughts and sympathies go out to Dave's family and friends and all those affected by this tragic news.

More follows.


116 Comments

  • 589 3
 I will never forget my 4 years with The Giant factory off road team and having Dave around.. Dave had the best sense of humour and was the most knowledgeable person in terms of suspension settings. I will always remember having him by my side at Redbull hardline and telling me that I shouldn’t compete because I looked sketchy on my bike hahaha... Dave I’m gonna miss you, we are all gonna miss you.. Rest in piece you rad human and freaking legend. All my thoughts and love to Dave’s family and friends..
  • 11 3
 Right on. Thanks for this bro.
  • 15 124
flag Shredburger (Nov 28, 2020 at 15:46) (Below Threshold)
 ????
  • 31 0
 @Shredburger: this comment was probably an emoji that didnt come across properly.

Rest in peace
  • 8 65
flag brodoyouevenbike (Nov 29, 2020 at 3:54) (Below Threshold)
 I read this in your accent
  • 13 3
 @brodoyouevenbike: wrong time dude
  • 6 0
 @brodoyouevenbike: I now realised this was the first Yoann's post ever that I didn't read in his accent.
  • 189 0
 RIP Dave! But glad he punched out doing what he loved instead of withering away in a hospital bed from a debilitating disease, nothing better than to bust through those pearly gates sideways covered in mud. Ha!
  • 16 0
 Amen.
  • 7 1
 Amen +1
  • 63 0
 Well said. Hopefully they (re)name the trail he was last riding in his honour (Garland Way?)

Unfortunately you can be in exceptional physical shape and still have a heart attack or get cancer, etc. It's hard to see someone suddenly go, but I can not think of a better way to leave this earth than riding my bike on a great trail...
  • 204 0
 @RowdyAirTime: out of all the lovely comments about my husband, this killed me. I am beside myself with grief. He loved riding so much. I wasn't going to comment, but your sentiment is so lovely. Thank you x
  • 13 0
 @Mirks: Me & my crew shared an impromptu breakfast with you and Dave at a hotel during 2019 Leogang WC - it was the highlight of our trip and the conversation was amazing especially Dave’s personable proprietary know-how. Wow. Thank you, we are all devastated and wish you peace and condolences.
  • 8 0
 @Mirks: love to you and your family and all that knew him personally. So many of us as fans simply knew him online or on a photo spread or VHS but he seemed like such a nice guy and devastatingly talented with the spanners. I hope you continue to take solace that personalities like Dave's are as much a fabric of what makes this sport so compelling as any racer. RIP Dave Garland. X
  • 11 0
 @Mirks: No-one can imagine the grief and loss you are now feeling. We send you our utmost condolences and all the love from the entire mountain biking community. Dave will never be forgotten. RIP my friend!
  • 5 0
 @Mirks: Dave has affected so many in his life, even little old me in the middle of the US. Thank you for sharing that amazing man with the rest of us!! RIP DAVE!!!!
  • 168 1
 Devastated... Dave was the 1st World Cup mechanic i ever worked with, he definitely set me up with the skills and drive for my career since. RIP mate...
  • 159 0
 Years ago at the first Nantmawr Quarry Goldrun weekend (circa ‘98/99) Dave heard my GT LTS creaking as I rode past the pits. I was only there as a spectator but he called me over and replaced all the bushes and the trunion chip on the rear end FoC. He said he couldn’t have me riding round with the bike making that kinda noise and giving GT a bad name! I’ve never forgotten that random act of kindness. RIP, my thoughts are with his family.
  • 39 0
 I dont know where to start reading all the hart warming comments Dave is my true friend i have known him for 10+ years we ride together 2 / 3 times a week, we rode on Thursday together in north wales and had so much fun chasing each other down the trails in the mud ???? he was trully at peace when he rode his bike away from the every day stress of work etc
His kind hearted approach to the industry will be missed, his expertise is unreal when it comes to building bikes and looking after them
Dave my friend your are a true legand and its a honour to know you rest in peace ✌
  • 32 0
 So sad to hear this. I was lucky enough to have Dave wrench on my bikes for a couple of years on CRC Intense. I trusted him, he was so patient with me. He gave me confidence. And way too many laughs and adventures to list! Such a genuine and funny man. Seeya in the pits on the other side Dave ❤️❤️❤️ Claire.
  • 16 0
 Rip... Drove 2 hours to his house many years ago so he could tune the rear shock on an old orange patriot I had at the time. Proper nice guy and baffled me with his knowledge at the time. Couldn't have been more helpful.
  • 18 0
 I will never understand heart attacks. He biked and looked in reasonable shape.WTF.
  • 11 0
 Yeah it's weird. McGazza-esque. Duty to Shred fulfilled.
  • 5 0
 Yeah it's spooky, it could get any one of us at any given time Frown . RIP to another legend.
  • 5 0
 From a medical perspective there are a stupid amount of things that can lead towards a heart attack. various imbalances and what not. Unfortunately people are sometimes just shit out of luck. I'm glad he went mountain biking. it's an awful thing for any one's family or friend to go through
  • 1 2
 Unfortunately, nobody can tell by looks and/or shape, it's all about LDL and HDL levels. Sad but true.
  • 8 1
 DJ-24, my doctor put it best after he saved my life with a stent in my left anterior descending (widowmaker) he said “people always want to know why-sometimes this shit just happens” Sadly, being fit, with low blood pressure and cholesterol reduces the odds of a heart attack, but it does not make those odds zero
  • 4 0
 Some of it is genetics.
  • 2 0
 @codypup: Literally learning about Widow-makers now for my nursing course. i'm very glad you survived that. hope your living life to the fullest.
  • 3 2
 Could be genetics. Can't outrun that shit.
  • 2 0
 @codypup: Did you actually have a heart attack or just symptoms? I have a stent as well. After having a burning in my chest for months after slight physical activity I thought it was my lungs and that maybe I was out of shape (stupid) .I finally went to the doctor and you know the rest. At least I got a warning. Enjoy your unobstructed blood flow.
  • 3 0
 @youknowitsus: McGarry had Marfan's disease, which weakens the connective tissue, making patients prone to heart disease.
  • 5 1
 @Gravity-Fiend: Stent on Wednesday, riding Friday, thanks to my doctor who watched the readout of my treadmill test and yelled “stop”, as he reached for the phone to call the cardiologist. This is my Soapbox Issue with everyone who will listen
  • 8 3
 I've said this on other similar posts before, but people need to be on top of their cardiac health regardless of how fit they are, how good their diet is, or how much they exercise. Your genetics play a big role in how your body manages cholesterol and cardiac conditions can go unnoticed in fit people until it's too late.

My cardiologist told me in 20+ years of cardiology, he's had the chance to work on prevention 4 times and I was one of those 4. Everyone else comes in after the fact.

This is not to demean Dave, however, it sounds like a true loss for the industry and it's not always detectable even if you go to a doctor. Rather, I hope that people see this and realize that being fit and eating well are not always enough.

Also, over the age of 40 or blood coming out of places it shouldn't be? Get a colonoscopy. It isn't that bad. Mostly unrelated, but people seem hesitant to do it and colon cancer is a leading cause of death
  • 3 0
 @DJ-24: no heart attack. Felt shitty on a couple rides, no energy, excess perspiration. Went for a little pedal for the Sunday paper and it felt like a big effort. Decided I should check in with my doctor, who, to his credit, put me on the treadmill, even though I’d had no chest pain
  • 4 0
 @njcbps: Yes, it can sometimes be genetics when it comes to health. You never know what cards you will be dealt, as my Mom's mom lived till 99 and my Dad's mom died of stomach cancer at only 43 years old. We must try and enjoy life as much as possible while we are here, as you never know what can happen next. Anytime you are able, hop on your bike and just ride, as there's nothing much better than this in life..Ride on everybody!
  • 1 1
 @RowdyAirTime: It all comes down to epigenetics - the environment determines which genes are expressed. This science is decades old, the fact that many people do not know this is scandalous. Ride on - it will upregulate good gene expression, and downregulate bad gene expression.
  • 5 0
 Get yourself checked out at the doctors every couple of years once you’re over 50. You can be fit as fiddle but have an underlying problem that is often an easy fix but if left undiagnosed can be fatal. In the uk it’s called a ‘man well’ checkup. Look after yourselves and stay safe guys & girls.
RIP Dave, you really were one of the absolute best!
  • 3 0
 Get a calcium score done, cost me $200 cash, totally worth it, If heart disease runs in the family..
  • 5 0
 @Gravity-Fiend: I often wonder if it's not OK to say that he died doing one of the things he loved and thus his last moments were glorious and happy? I do think it's better than dying a painful or lonely death. Nonetheless, we celebrate the lives of those who lived to make other people's lives better. May the Lord give his family strength to rejoice in the awesome live he lived...
  • 6 0
 @carlostrancex2: i see what you're saying. while not religious myself. i try to at least put a positive spin on it or it gets real depressing real quick
  • 11 0
 Like many have said, 2020 just keeps bringing the savage news. I consider myself lucky to have known Dave, he spent some time at our house back in 2009 or 10' when he was chief tech for CRC/Intense and I was working for Intense. We spent the week testing and getting bike development squared away, he was so savvy with racing, race bikes, race tech, psychology of athletes. RIP Dave, you will be missed but not forgotten.
  • 13 0
 This is awful news. What a legend Dave was....he'll be sorely missed
  • 8 0
 Rest in peace Dave. He always went the extra mile for riders; gave me and others a spot on his UCI trade team so we could race world cups when it was impossible to get points. You had a bloody good gate start too bud! You'll be missed. Thoughts are with your family and friends.
  • 6 0
 Remember him from seeing him in the pits ,but that clip with rob in tire pressure is a reminder,life is such a mother f*cker that you just don’t have to care that much for it ,just enjoy while it last and try to be happy and proud,I hope to die ridding my bike alone
  • 10 0
 Cheers for the help over the years dave, Rest in peace.
  • 8 0
 there is a special trail system somewhere for all my hero's that have left us and I hope someday I am worthy of riding there. Rest in Peace Sir.
  • 6 0
 I bought some Super Alloy springs a few years back and have never had a company take more care into making sure a customer was satisfied. Condolences to his family, he will be missed.
  • 3 0
 I had the exact same experience. Dave and Mirka were absolute class acts, really wanted to get me on the right product. Best customer service I've ever had, bar none. Even remembered me 18 months later when I had an issue and replaced my spring FOC. Condolences to her and the family, be sorely missed. Rest in peace Dave.
  • 6 0
 Very sad news. I spent a week of testing with marzocchi and crc back in the days and we became friends. We are loosing a great prodessional and a friendly face in the world cup circus. Rip Dave.
  • 6 0
 I knew him and he was a kind, great man. He inspired me 20 years ago to be the mechanic I am today and I thank you for that Dave. A true pioneer, leader and legend of the industry. Thoughts to his family.
  • 6 0
 From keeping those at the top winning during the race season, to keeping those at the bottom rolling when he was back home - Dave Garland enriched MTBing and we will miss him.
  • 4 0
 Oh man this is really sad. I love Dave. I worked a lot with him when I was with Crankbrothers and spent a lot of time just hanging around with him in the pits at races. He was such a sweet and kind man who adored his family. He will be missed.
  • 4 0
 Met Dave in 2012 and the thing that sticks out to me in our conversation is that he said, "The mountain bike community is a very small, close net group of people that have to work together to keep the sport relevant".

R.I.P. Dave
  • 4 0
 Sometimes life can be truly random. I am fit, eat healthy, have low cholesterol and low blood pressure yet last year got a 95% blockage on my left anterior descending artery sending me straight towards a widowmaker. A month before, a doctor checkup would have given me a clean bill of health. But one ride I had mild chest aches but also stiffness in my left shoulder and slight ache at the top of my neck. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, ask your doctor for an ECG.

Ride in peace Dave
  • 4 0
 Definitely one of the best humans I have had the pleasure to spend time with. Gonna really miss you Dave, still cant believe it. Thanks for being such a kind, bonkers and wonderful fella. Thoughts to Daves family and friends X
  • 7 0
 Wow this sucks. Rest in peace
  • 3 0
 From the comments, he's got a wealth of information and more than that, the collective history of modern mountain bike racing. Godspeed Good Sir. May you find the trails to your liking and may you Ride in Peace. Condolences to all who knew him and especially to those who loved him.
  • 3 0
 I bumped into Dave a couple of times in the last year or so, here on Fromme while he was on holiday. We rode up the fire road together with his wife, chatting about the trails, the race scene and general BS as you do. A super nice guy. RIP Dave. My thoughts go to your friends and family. Peace.
  • 4 1
 Very sad. Just over a year ago I had a heart attack while riding by myself, in a remote area with no cell service. I had aspirin with me and took some but ended up climbing over 350' to get to where someone helped me. I was lucky. Chewable baby aspirin can buy you some time and I encourage people to carry it with them in case they, or someone else, needs it.
  • 4 0
 Talked to him many years ago at Mega, such a nice guy, sorted my shock out too, free of charge, RIP Dave, my condolences to his family and friends
  • 3 0
 In 2014 I bought a pair of stendec springs from Dave, he was incredible to deal with and did everything he could to make sure I got exactly what I needed. The man will be missed greatly. Rest in peace friend.
  • 2 0
 Dave looked after my bikes for the last six months and his patience honesty and generosity were bounless considering his background , expetise and the crap i presented him with , even realising a frankenstein mullet bike for my youngest boy . He fired my other boy with enthusiasm and he will wear his WD 40 socks he gave him with Pride. Dave was a real gent and we will miss him. Our sympathies are with his family . Ou
  • 5 0
 R.i.p dave the mountain bike community has lost a legend
  • 6 0
 Frown ride in peace
  • 4 0
 Helped me out no end bitd This is awful news....I guess as others have said at least he was on his bike. RIP Dave.
  • 3 0
 Was always a good laugh to chat to in the pits and occasionally wind up over the PA system at National races. Ride Free Dave!
  • 2 0
 RIP, DAVE. You are clearly going to be missed, it's like your untimely passing in this brutal excuse for a year, 2020, has left a hole in the hearts of so many. I'm sorry I never knew ya.
  • 3 0
 Never knew him but I consider his youtube video on building that nukeproof scalp as bible. Ride in Peace, Sir.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW-fiq1XkBc
  • 3 0
 Talked to him on the phone a few times some years back while having some Stendec tune done to my forks. Such an nice guy. RIP
  • 2 0
 What a legend,,, miles ahead of the rest of us, yet always happy to explain things and help out the little guys - Mountain Bike Racing you do not even realise how much you have lost... Gonna miss you Dave
  • 3 0
 Trist/Very sad
Chatted many times with Dave at Antur Stiniog and always ready to pass on advice, on bike set up, a real gentleman.
Will be sorely missed.
RIP
  • 1 0
 My condolences to the entire family, my Dad went the same way(not on the trails though) it’s so sad, I remember seem Dave on videos and always struck me as such a nice guy, God probably needs a complicated fix on his bike and have better plans for Dave, RIP.
  • 1 0
 What sad news. I'm not making any claims to have been Dave's mate but I went to his house in Holywell a few times when I lived in North Wales for some help with forks and shocks. As well as running Stendec I think he was working with CRC/Hotlines so he was inundated with stuff to do but he was always friendly and would take the time to talk to you.

RIP Dave
  • 5 0
 So sad. R.I.p. Dave!
  • 4 0
 Man this is gutting. Dave will be sorely missed by so many.
  • 3 0
 Rip Dave not only has he fixed my bikes for years saw him at Rhyd y foel few weeks back. Rest easy pal
  • 4 0
 That's the way I hope to go.
  • 3 0
 Rip good homie. Give thanks for Eternal Shred. Give thanks for self-expression through bikes ????
  • 3 0
 Awful news, he seemed like a really intelligent guy and had a legendary history in the sport. RIP.
  • 3 0
 This is a big loss to the mountain bike scene. Rip, bro. As has been said, at least he went out doing what he loved.
  • 3 0
 Rip, sad to hear this. Only spoke to him on phone and he tuned serviced my avalanche for me, done fantastic work.
  • 4 2
 RIP always sad news when we loose a fellow rider/mechanic, ride on up there!
  • 3 0
 Very sorry to hear. RIP Dave.
  • 3 0
 RIP. God need bike mechanic in heaven
  • 4 0
 RIP Maestro
  • 3 0
 Rest in peace brother, I can only hope I go the same way
  • 3 0
 Rest in peace and strength to his family.
  • 3 0
 Rest easy man, always sad to hear a fellow mechanic passing away.
  • 3 0
 Terrible news. Always such a nice helpful guy, RIP brother.
  • 3 0
 So sorry to hear this Frown RIP LEGEND
  • 2 0
 Sad. Same thing happened to mtbr.com user TravisBickle.
  • 4 0
 Almost happened to Mark Weir too.
  • 3 0
 RIP
  • 3 0
 Ride In Perpetuity
  • 3 0
 Some lad was Dave.
  • 3 0
 Sad news rip Dave
  • 3 0
 Rip good man
  • 3 0
 Sad news,sorry to hear.
  • 3 0
 RIP
  • 3 0
 Oh no! Rest In Peace!
  • 2 0
 Rip , thx for all you did!!!
  • 1 0
 My condolences to his family and friends. I have much respect for his work and expertise in the biking world.
  • 2 0
 Oh, no Frown
  • 1 0
 Sad news; sorry he passed too young.
  • 1 0
 I didn’t now him but knew some people who did. Very sad.
  • 2 1
 Sad news Frown
  • 1 0
 RIP
  • 2 4
 The hits keep on coming in 2020, eh? Jeez...

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