- Must haves
- If you plan on cycling…
- If you plan on running…
- Nice to have
- Key Takeaways:
One part of Vingo’s mission is to make fitness fun and affordable. So although you can add on extra features, equipment, and gear, to run or ride on Vingo it isn’t needed. In fact, you can get a lot out of Vingo with little investment. To learn more about how you can enjoy Vingo to the max on a budget—read on!
No matter who you are and what you are looking for from your Vingo experience, there are a couple of need-to-haves to use Vingo. The great news upfront is, it’s not a lot. Basically, it’s the app itself, a working computer (Windows OS), and whatever exercise equipment you decide to use (exercise bike or treadmill).
The first step is to download the Vingo app. You can download it here. Also, did we mention it is free? There is no charge to access our virtual training app with multiple routes, different difficulty ranges, and to connect with friends.
Vingo runs on Windows only, so you will need a Windows computer (laptop or desktop) or a Windows tablet to get started.
WIFI is required both for downloading the Vingo app onto your Windows device and while using Vingo.
If you plan on cycling…
Now the fun part, actually getting on your bike and riding. Part of why Vingo is budget-friendly, to begin with, is because it works on any exercise bike. This way you can decide to use the bike you already have or purchase a more cost-effective bike.
If you don’t already have an exercise bike, here are some potential budget-friendly options to use for virtual biking.
This upright bike is an easy-to-use, compact exercise bike. It is similar to a cycling bike with no back and foot pedals. While it doesn’t have many accessories, it does have a display screen where you can track calories, distance, and heart rate. The bonus is the folding nature makes it easy to fit into spaces and fold up when you don’t need it—and it’s under $150.
If you are looking for a budget recumbent bike, aka a bike with a back seat and legs further out (great for those of us looking for more back support). This bike is lower cost (under $150) while still having up to 8 levels of resistance and a digitized screen to track your ride.
While this bike comes at a higher cost than the others, hovering a bit below $300. It is cost-effective for what you receive with the bike—that being a pretty realistic experience to a bike ride, adjustable seat settings, LCD monitor, and a mount for an Ipad. It also has a resistance knob for you to control and is operated by a flywheel.
If you plan on running…
Similarly, Vingo can work with any treadmill. So if you have one at home, you can get going right away. Otherwise, you can look for a treadmill that works best for you—while it should be noted that treadmills are generally more expensive than an exercise bike, and there are some cheaper ones, but many argue that if it’s below a certain price, it may not work or it might break down quickly. Thus, here are some more cost-effective but well-reviewed treadmills.
Overall cost-effective treadmill
This treadmill has quite a few features for around $650 (almost $500 less than many treadmills). It has a screen holder, Bluetooth capabilities, 0-10% incline, and .5-10 MPH speeds.
Good warranty treadmill
As we mentioned, one concern with more budget-friendly treadmills is the warranty. For this treadmill, though, it’s lower cost and has a lifetime warranty. For just under $1000, you get 15 levels of resistance, 10 different speeds, Bluetooth connectivity, and a screen holder.
Other things to keep in mind while shopping for equipment
Some other tricks to finding a better deal on equipment are to look in other places and during the holidays. For example, black Friday, or December and January might have specific discounts on all exercise equipment depending on where you shop. You may also want to consider a resell site like Craigslist, where you can get gently used equipment for a big discount.
Nice to have
Now, this next category is not necessary to operate Vingo. In fact, if you want to just ride or run and are on a tight budget, you can start right away with the above information. This next category is simply a few simple add-ons that you could do to make your experience even better.
For the equipment above, if you do not have Bluetooth capabilities, you will operate in manual mode, using your own gauge of resistance and speed to match what you put into Vingo. So one of the easiest (and cheapest) add-ons is a sensor and an ANT+ dongle.
Sensor and ANT+ dongle
A cadence sensor and ANT+ dongle will let the app automatically track your speed and movement, so you don’t have to. This just makes the experience a bit more realistic and allows all your fitness data to be stored easily. A typical cadence sensor and ANT+ dongle are usually under $40 each.
Even nicer to have (but not needed)
So here is the thing, you don’t need a smart trainer to train on Vingo. You can join from any bike or treadmill. However, if you are looking for the most interactive experience within Vingo you could consider investing in a smart trainer. It should be said these take you a bit out of the super cost-effective. However, compared to some other gym costs, equipment costs, or streaming costs, it still is all in all more cost-conscious.
You may decide to start with the equipment you have and then decide later you want a smart trainer.
If you’re interested in cycling…
For cycling, there are two different types of smart trainers. One is a trainer you can hook up to your outdoor bike, and the other is an actual indoor smart trainer that mimics an outdoor bike. The hook-up option is much less expensive. This smart trainer is one of the more affordable options at $250 It comes with Bluetooth and an ANT+ dongle. This will mimic just about any experience you want too on the bike.
If you’re interested in running…
There are also smart treadmills. These often have fitness programs and are packed with features—have Bluetooth and speakers, Wi-Fi connections, a screen, comfort features, and more. It also has -3% to 12% incline and 0-12 mph. This treadmill does come at a higher price tag of around $1,500.
Key Takeaways:It doesn’t take much equipment or investment to get started with Vingo. If you already have a home gym or are a part of a gym, you can download the app for free and start using any bike or treadmill. If you need to invest in a bike or treadmill there are some affordable (but good) options out there.
Only if and when you want too, you can make larger investments such as a smart trainer. But for now, know that you don’t need to stress your wallet, and simply grab some equipment and get going!