My wife has a Topeak Explorer rack.It has an bracket on the rear for a light or reflector. It is useless to mount any of the rear lights we own and is ugly. Anyone find any use for it or cut it off? I really like the rack and bag mounting system but loathe that weird metal bracket. Topeak appears to sell a light for it, but not a very good one IMHO. Thanks for any answers.
Sure you can cut it off after all you bought it.
Personally, I would keep it as you never know down the road if you want to mount something on there and it is not all that ugly.
For example what if you want to buy a rear facing bike rader (e.g. Garmin Varia) that has really poor factory mounting hardware. For me it took almost a week of periodically thinking how can I mount this thing to my road bike without risking it falling off and keeping my underseat bag where I have my flat kit. Finally I came up with a solution that involved a 3rd party bracket and the light strap on my underseat bag. I certainly would not have expected to use that strap on my bag in that manner when I bought it almost 2 years ago. So if I was just to say well let me cut it off, I would probably be buying a new bag in order to run my current setup.
Until you find a better use for the area, you could always try to use the area to add more visibility with things like a reflective sticker or even reflective circles that screw into the holes already cut in it.
Hope that helps.
It is useless to mount any of the rear lights we own and is ugly.
Why won't you buy a rear light or reflector that can be attached there?
A reflector costs couple of $CURRENCY_UNIT (dollars, pounds, euros, whatever).
Cutting off the bracket in a manner that looks clean will take 15 minutes or even half an hour, and still you're uncertain whether the result will look clean until the job is done.
To me, the choice is clear. Unless you're planning to be unemployed for the rest of your life, your time probably has a value. Buying a reflector is the cheapest option overall considering the value of your time, thus.
On the topeak full racks I've had, the light bracket isn't structural, as it only attaches at the top. I don't know the explorer though, only the super tourist. If I really wanted to get rid of it I'd use a junior hacksaw to cut it off as cleanly as possible, maybe assembling the blade into the handle while threading it through the rack. Then I'd finish with a file.
If your rack is black you've then got a cut edge showing. Black sharpie imitates black anodising fairly well, but will fade in sunlight. Black nail polish would also work but may chip
Other brands make lights that fit the same holes, which is useful if you want to leave a rear light fitted with low risk of theft. This includes some very cheap but effective lights, though they're often poorly sealed.
Here's a Topeak rack with a 12V strobe light. Notice there's a plastic adapter between the metal frame, and the light's base. The plastic piece came with this particular rack.
There is one coarse-thread screw at the top, mostly obscured by power wire. Then the light has two bolts through the plastic adapter or "interposer"