Join Date: May 2006
Location: The Hague, Netherlands
Bikes: Two Robin Mather custom built tourers
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If you are at all in the market for a new bike, it could be worth just buying new. You can get the VAT back (about 19%) and European-made bikes will be cheaper here than in the US so this can translate into some nice savings. Think about this for Ortlieb panniers as well, if you need some.
There are plenty of used bikes around but if Belgium is anything like Holland (and it may not be but I can only give you the Dutch experience) there is a steady demand for them and prices are surprisingly high. You're looking at 150 euros and up for a used bike (occasionally you see one for 100 euros) and they are not usually set up for touring.
They may be single or 3-speed, heavy bikes in the sit-up-straight Grandma style or just an old mountain bike. The saddle will be terrible. On the upside, they usually have dynamos and a back rack. And wouldn't it be fun to do a 2 week tour of Europe on an Oma Fiets (Grandma Bike??)
You will be able to resell your bike in Amsterdam, no problem. Just go to any bike shop selling 2nd hand bikes (there are plenty near Central Station) but what you'll get for it, who knows...
Campgrounds here often have little huts you can stay in, so that's worth trying. You may not need to bring the tent at all.