Didn't know where to post this, and haven't found the topic with search, although I thought it would be there. I just acquired an older Honda Civic, and I have an old car rear rack, but I'm concerned about the plastic rear bumper flexing with a bike rack hanging on the car. Anybody have experience with mounting a rack on a plastic bumper car, or maybe a specific brand that works? Most cars have plastic (covered) bumpers nowadays, don't they? While I'm on the subject, some years ago I saw a few people that had built bike toters for their small pickups using construction lumber -- 2x6's, or whatever. Anybody seen a diagram to build one of those? They looked like front wheel holding racks.
When you say mounting a rack on the rear of the car, I'm assuming you mean a regular trunk rack that can be removed and attaches with straps. In that case, I had a '90 Civic, and used to mount my mountain bike on the back using one all the time without problems. Now as far as drilling things into the plastic bumper...don't. The only thing underneath it is a styrofoam brick.
Is it one of those REALLY old racks where a bracket bolted to the bumper? That won't work. But if it's a newer one that uses straps to hold the rack and the weight RESTS on the bumper, it's probably OK. I have a Yakima cartop rack for the Civic, but we've used a strap-on on the plastic-bumper Protege for a couple of years with no problems.
Thanks for your responses. This is not one of those really old ones that bolt to the bumper -- had one of those on a Fiat with a steel bumper years ago. We used this one last on a Taurus wagon that we traded in in 2003, and the wife has a Civic that year, and I just bought a '96 to drive to work. I was thinking we attached the lower straps under the car, around the bumper? Maybe I just remember it wrong, or else we put it on wrong? I saw a small car with one yesterday that I think was a "Bones" brand, and the lower straps appeared to be attached to the bottom of the trunk lid. I should probably just look into buying a new rear rack. They are probably all set up to deal with this situation now, huh?