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4 of my last 5 bikes were used; mostly just luck

I have the used success story of all time, I think: I dropped by Rivendell one day to check out the new "retail space," and while I was standing there, they rolled out a used Rambouillet, 64cm, built up with 105 components. It had been a shop demo. I got it for $1000 with new Ruffy Tuffys.
Three of my other four bikes also were bought used--an Allez and Trek from newspaper classified ads and a Hardrock my wife uses for a townie from a local thrift shop. Prices ran 40-50 percent of new ($10 for the Hardrock), and I haven't had problems or surprises from any of them (I'm only a so-so mechanic, but bikes are pretty easy to check out).
The downside is that you may have to look a long time to find what you want, especially in a higher-end bike and/or an unusual size. There just aren't that many 64cm bikes out there.
 
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