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Hardware

The Nature Shaper

A UK made portable trail tool system for digging, raking, building and maintaining.

The Nature Shaper is a UK made set of trail maintenance tools designed to take apart and fit into a rucksack. Portable, high quality, built to last and designed to make trail building an easier task.

Words: Sean White  Images: Ieuan Williams

If you’re keen on local riding then there’s a strong chance that you’re using hand crafted trails or jumps tucked away in the woods. There’s plenty of trail building happening here in the UK and if you are one of the team putting the hard graft in then you will need the right tools for the job. Often it’s not that easy though; riding to the trails and carting heavy and cumbersome tools is not an enjoyable task. Hiding them away from prying eyes in a handy location is a risk too. Unless you’re a stone’s throw from your van then you may not have all the kit with you for a morning digging and raking.

We’ve seen a good few attempts at portable trail tools over the years but many are often a limited run product or a one-off that doesn’t make production.

Max Reynolds has been riding here in the UK for twenty years and to quote him ‘Had grown tired of tools that disappear from the woods, trails that could be very easily better and trying to ride with a spade across the handlebars’

 

The initial goal that Max started with was to build a set of trail tools for his own personal use. Friends and other riders quickly showed interest and his thoughts moved to develop the product further with a potential for small productions runs. And so the Nature Shaper was born and named and has now evolved into a selection of modular tools. All use custom CNC machined connectors allowing different heads and handles to be attached and the length to be changed. The key benefit though is the packability and portability of the system – you can quickly disassemble to tools and stash them in you backpack, allowing you to ride back to base safely and comfortably.

There’s plenty of attention to detail here and the McLoed trail tool and spade combo that we’ve had to try shows the work that’s gone into both the design and manufacturing process. All the parts are made here in the UK (the spade heads are made by Richard Carters of Huddersfield, the UK’s original tool company) and exceed British standards for the specific tools. This is hardware that should go the distance, no question.

After extensive development and testing Max has settled on a comprehensive range of trail tools, with a ‘pick and mix’ option allowing you to order the right kit for your requirements. Here’s a run down on the options:

THE INDIVIDUALS:

REGULAR SPADE – 2 PIECE – £99

LONG HANDLE SPADE -3 PIECE – £149

TRAIL TOOL/MCLOED -4 PIECE – £199

THE REGULAR SPADE is a solid socket, forged steel, taper mouth. This is fitted with Nature Shaper’s precision CNC machined, 3 piece interlocking connector, with a tubular steel and ash ‘D’ shape handle for comfort. The spade exceeds the British Standard for strength.

THE LONG HANDLE SPADE is the same blade as above but with two straight tube sections, one with a soft grip to finish for comfort. This set up will reduce back strain, and should increase productivity.

THE MCLEOD / TRAIL TOOL is a hardened steel ‘blade’, with: Rake, hoe, pick, wide scraper, and tamper sides. The handle for this is 3 x 20 inch sections of steel tube, all fitted with the 3 piece steel connectors, one section is the ‘end’ piece fitted with a rubber grip.

THE SETS:

FULL SET – 6 PIECE 

REGULAR SPADE & TRAIL TOOL – £289

MEGA SET – 7 PIECE 

LONG SPADE & TRAIL TOOL – £329

FAMILY SET – 9 PIECE

BOTH SPADES & TRAIL TOOL – £419

OK, so these tools aren’t cheap but look at them as a long-term investment and they will soon pay their way. Digging, building and maintaining your trails and jump spots will be a whole lot easier too…

natureshaper.co.uk

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