Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike Review

The Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike is a less expensive version of the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike and it comes with a few less features too.

But it still has a good number of benefits for a comfortable and effective low impact cardio workout in the home. This can make this better value for money if you don’t want or need the extras that come with the more expensive version of the bike.

In this review we look at the differences as well as all the features to see how well it measures up for in home workouts for people of all abilities including those recovering from injury, from beginners to those very fit and all those in between.

As well as it being important that it can provide a good workout we look at whether it can fit into a home without causing too many issues and how those extras like the speakers, 3 speed fan and so on actually perform

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Sturdiness

The steel frame and oversized stabilizer bars keep the bike steady and stable at all levels of intensity. It doesn’t shake or squeak leaving you to be able to get on with an undisturbed workout.

It provides all the support needed for a trouble free workout.

If using on a floor that has some variation in it you can turn the 2 levelers on the rear stabilizer bar and the one in the middle of the frame rail to level out the bike to stop it rocking from side to side.

As any indicator of its durability people have said in their reviews that they have been using the bike regularly for a year without any issues and that it doesn’t show any signs of wear and tear.

It has a good long warranty of Frame 10 years, 2 years on mechanical parts, 1 year electrical and 90 days on labor.

Adjustability

The seat can be adjusted to fit people between 4ft 11 ins and 6 ft 3 ins based on customer experience. It moves along a rail and as it moves away from the console it increases in height slightly to allow for the taller exerciser – making it easier to get on and off – so it doesn’t end up feeling too low or too high.

The bike has one of the best methods for adjusting the seat at this price range, even if it is slightly backwards in how you do it.

You should be off the bike to make the adjustment according to manual – although some people do it on the bike. There is a lever under the bike that you push down to unlock the seat. You then slide the seat to the position you want and then pull the lever up to lock it into position. There is no annoying knobs to loosen and tighten up.

The seat can be positioned to exactly where you want it, you are not limited toa preset position – it means you can get the most comfortable and best fit for you.

The speed and ease of adjustment allow the bike to be used by multiple users of different heights. It does take only seconds so there is no fiddling around before your workout if you need to make the adjustment because someone has moved the seat since your last workout.

If your height is below 4ft 11 ins you may be able to reach the pedals without stretching through the whole pedal cycle if you have longer legs than average but it would be a good idea if possible to try the bike first.

Also, if you are over 6ft 3 ins you might not feel cramped up and get the full range of motion of the knee depending on your leg length. (At the far end of the stroke you knee should be only slightly bent.)

Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike Resistance

It has 20 levels of resistance that is displayed and controlled through the console. This makes it easy to set the bike at the level of intensity you want to work at and return to previous levels.

The resistance can be moved up in small increments from very easy to very hard or you can use the quick jump buttons on the console to jump from one level to any one of 10 levels (there are 20 levels but only 10 quick jump buttons).

The resistance is provided by magnets being moved closer to the flywheel to increase resistance and further away to reduce it. They don’t ever touch the flywheel so there is no noise and there is no maintenance requirement.

The lowest level of resistance is very easy with it being slightly harder than freewheeling

Drive Type

The bike has a belt drive and a perimeter weighted flywheel to produce a quiet and smoother pedaling motion.

The weighted flywheel helps to keep it smoother at higher resistance levels although you will notice it starting to pulse at these levels.

The pedals slow down as you go through the top/bottom of the stroke that adds a little impact to it but this is not there at the lower levels of resistance where it is smooth.

Pedals

It has a single crank and normal sized pedals which provide a good sturdy platform for pedaling.

The pedals are textured a little and have plastic straps to prevent your feet slipping off them. People with a shoe size up to 11 should have no trouble fitting and tightening the strap around them. Over that size you may want to take the straps off.

The plastic straps can be a little awkward to adjust/tighten at first as this done by pushing the hole in strap on to a tab on the pedal. After a little use the plastic softens up a little making it easier while still holding your foot in place.

Comfort

Seat The seat and backrest are vented plastic. They are contoured which helps with comfort but they are not padded. The vented plastic (which are holes in the plastic) helps to keep you cool allowing the heat to escape so you don’t end up with a sweaty back.

The backrest is at a fixed angle that most find provides the support they want for their back including the lower back.

Many find it all comfortable despite it not being padded and just being plastic. However, not everyone is happy with the overall comfort of the seat. This is what you’d expect and you might be the same. It is an individual thing.

People that don’t like this type of seat find that using a cushion or folded up towel is what is needed to add the comfort they need to be able to use the bike for as long as they want with little or no pain

It is easy to get on and off the seat. The bike has a step-thru design so you don’t have to lift your foot to get in position. It is then like sitting on or getting off a chair.

Noise. It is a very quiet bike at all levels of intensity and speed. There are no annoying squeaks or creaks. If you are using the fan you might hear a small humming noise but not enough to be disturbing.

It does beep every 2 minutes as you finish a time interval but this can be turned off if it is too loud along with the celebration noise when a goal is achieved.

You should be able to listen to the TV without turning the volume up. You won’t disturb others in the house, and unless you have someone who is a very light sleeper you should be able to exercise when others are sleeping either during the night or if you have young children when they are having a nap.

It’s the same if you live in an apartment this is very much quieter than a treadmill. Your neighbors are unlikely to ever know you’re exercising. If you do live on upper floor and concerned with those below you – a rubber exercise mat is probably more than enough to stop any possible noise or vibration being transmitted through it.

The loudest noise from the bike is usually the heavy breathing from the person using the bike.

Cleaning. You won’t be taking on a lot of cleaning duties with the bike. The biggest source of cleaning is likely to be from people sweating and the sweat dropping on the bike and floor.
You can keep the bike clean with a quick wipe down as described in the manual. With the floor you may want to use a rubber exercise mat to protect it from the damaging effects of the sweat.

Handlebars. The bike comes with two sets of handlebars – one set by the console and the other by the seat. Both sets are covered to help with grip and comfort especially if your hands are sweaty they won’t slip and it prevents blisters.

The set at the front of the bike can be used to help in lowering into the seat or in giving support as you get off it. They also help when leaning forward to use the console or if you want to lean forward and exercise they can help with support then.

The handlebars by the seat are at seat height so shouldn’t get in your way as you exercise or when getting off the seat.

They do have the hand pulse sensors.

They can easily be gripped when you want support or want something to hold on to when pushing yourself hard.

This set of handlebars moves backwards/forwards with the seat.

Storage

When not in use the bike needs an area of 28.3 ins by 65.3 ins to be stored in.

There are 2 transport wheels on the front stabilizer bar that you tip the bike onto using the handle on the rear stabilizer bar. It is fairly easy to do as most of the weight is at the front of the bike.

Once on the wheels you can roll the bike to where you want it to go as most of the weight is supported by the wheels. They’ll work on most surfaces although you may find them sticking on deep carpet which may mean you need to drag the bike at certain points.

On wood floors you may want to test them out first to see if they will scratch or dent the floor.

Assembly

It does come partially completed. It normally takes between 1 to 2 hours to finish the assembly.

There is not anything too complicated involved in putting it together. The pieces all go together easily and the holes line up. The tools required to do the job are included.

The instructions are clear and there is nothing complicated in the process. The most involved part of the bike is already assembled (the drive etc). You are required to add the stabilizers, handlebars, top shroud, front post, seat, backrest, pedals and console.

I like how the hardware is stuck to a card and labeled which makes it very easy to locate the piece you need for each step.

Assembly can be done by one person although 2 are advised. It makes it an easier job in particular when attaching the console as an extra pair of hands can hold it in place while it is bolted on.

Console

The console is a good size and it comes with 2 LCD displays (an upper and lower one). It has 22 programs, 2 user profiles and 13 measures. You can also use it with the Nautilus Connect and myfitnesspal.com fitness accounts for tracking and analyzing your progress over time.

The Console Display and Buttons

The displays aren’t backlit so they can be hard to see when the light conditions aren’t at their best.

At the top of the console is the USB port and media port.

Next down is upper display. At the top of this display it lets you know what workout program you are completing. Below this is a graphical diplay of your workout. It looks a bit like a bar chart. The length of the bar indicates the level of resistance – the longer the bar the higher the level of resistance. it lets you know what is coming up in your workout. The flashing bar or column lets you know where you are up to.

On the left side of the display is a column that shows the intensity you are working at based on the resistance level. The intensity goes from 1 to 10.

On the right side is the heart rate display column based on your information entered in the user profile. When you grip the hand pulse sensors it lets you know which zone you are in. The scale shows: less than 50%, fat burn 50 – 70%, aerobic 70 – 80%, anaerobic 80 – 90% and 100%

The lower part of the screen lets you know what goal you’ve selected for your workout – time, distance or calories, percentage completed and how much is left to go. I always like these type of things to keep you motivated – it something I do in my head anyway but it’s much easier when it’s done for you. It also lets you know which user has been selected. Plus there is a star that lights up and a sound that plays when you’ve achieve a goal or pass a milestone.

Then comes the media shelf for your electronics. When using a tablet it covers up the upper display.

Below this is the lower display which remains uncovered when you have put a personal electronic item on the shelf.. At either side of this are the up/down buttons for adjusting resistance up or down a level as you go.

The display is split into 3 sections. The left section shows speed (mph or kph), time or distance (miles or km). The central section displays resistance level or RPM. The right section shows the heart rate (if hand sensors gripped) or calories burned estimate).

Next up is the section that has the bulk of the buttons for setting and controlling the workouts.

On either side are 5 buttons (10 in total) for quick jump to 10 of the 20 resistance levels. You can jump to 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 18 and 20.

Inside these buttons at the top left is the goal track button that displays workout totals and achievements for selected user. Below this is the quick start button for selecting the quick start program that lets you just get on with pedaling.

In the center are up/down/left/right/ok buttons used for selecting and changing programs and user profiles

Above this are 3 achievement lights that light up when a milestone is achieved indicating if it is in the current workout, last workout or last 7 days.

To the right is the user button for selecting profile, pause/end for pausing or ending a workout and program button for selecting the workout program you want to use.

Finally in this section at the centre bottom is the button for controlling the 3 speed fan. You push this to turn on/off or choose the speed of the fan.

Right at the bottom of the console left and right are the speakers and in the middle is the fan.

The 22 Programs

The programs that come with the bike are:

Quick Start is a manual program where you don’t have to enter any information to get started. You enter it by pressing the quick start button after selecting a user. It starts off at level 4 resistance as default which you can change as you go. When finished you press the pause/end button.

Profile Programs. This is a set of 9 pre-set programs you can follow along to with automated resistance. You can set what goal you want to achieve – time, distance or calories burned.

The programs are in 3 categories of fun, mountains and challenges. They have different levels of toughness to cater for various fitness abilities.

The amount of resistance is adjusted by the program as you work through the program but if it is too hard or easy you can manually adjust by pushing one of the resistance buttons. You see the workout on the upper display so you know where you are up to and what is coming up.

Fitness Test Program. After going through a warm up section you then train in the fitness zone which is at 75% of heart rate for 3 minutes. You do need to be gripping the heart rate sensors for this. At the end of the session it gives you a fitness score calculated using power and heart rate. This is good for comparing your performance over time. This is done by user profile and whether you are a beginner or advanced.

Heart Rate Programs. These are for setting a heart rate zone for your workout which you select and is based on the user profile selected. The resistance is adjusted as you go to keep you in the selected zone.

You start by selecting whether you are beginner or advanced. There are four zones to choose from 50-60%, 60–70%, 70–80%, 80–90%. You can also decide on goal targets of time, distance or calories burned.

To use these programs you do need to have you hands on the hand pulse sensors in the handlebars. Like all bikes with these sensors the reading can be erratic and not that accurate. It does make it difficult to use these programs and also to know that you are staying in a targeted heart rate zone. If this is important to you may be better off buying a heart rate strap and monitor to do this or you could buy the Nautilus R616 and an uncoded strap to do this.

If you have a change of mind during the workout you can change the program you are following and your workout to the time you change is saved to your user profile.

At the end of a workout it goes into cool down mode for 3 minutes (all have them except for Quick Start). The display shows you the details of your workout. The resistance level is set at the 1/3 rd of your average resistance for the workout. You can adjust this up or down.

The 2 User Profiles

These profiles allow you to enter in specific information for 2 users that allows the heart rate and other programs to provide better measures for each person as well as allow you to track their information using the fitness accounts you can upload.

You can enter your name, gender, age, weight and height. You can also choose what measure you want displayer on the lower screen.

It doesn’t include a guest profile, so if you have someone who wants to use the bike occasionally or more than 2 of you wanting to use the bike it is going to get confusing if you’re wanting to track the workouts. You may want to consider the Nautilus R616 which allows you to have up to 4 user profiles set up.

If you don’t choose a profile when you start to exercise it will default to the last one used.

To Use The Fitness Accounts

The results of every workout are recorded to the user profile. It has time, distance, calories, average speed, average RPM, average heart rate and average level. These are displayed on the console. You can also see for multiple workouts average distance, average time and average calories burned.

You can upload these results to Nautilus Connect and myfitnesspal.com

Both accounts can be signed up and can be used for free. If you want you can share your results with other people but you don’t have to.

To upload the results of the workouts you need to plug in a USB stick in the port at the top of the bike to upload them on to it and then plug it into a computer. It doesn’t take too long to do.

Needs To Be Plugged In

The power cord is about 6 ft long and plugs into the front of the bike. You do need to be careful not to trip over it for your own safety (of course) but you may damage the jack that plugs into the bike. The bike can’t be used effectively without power as the resistance and console won’t work.

The machine will shut off if it is not used for 5 minutes. To switch it on you can plug it in, press any button or start pedaling.

The Manual

The manual included with the bike doesn’t detail how to use the console you have to download the one on their site to get the information on how to use it fully. Even this isn’t the easiest interpret but with a little patience you can use the console to its full potential.

Dimensions

The dimensions and weight of the bike are:

Height 49.6 ins
Width 28.3 ins
Length 65.3 ins

Bike Weight 84.2 lbs
Max User Weight 300 lbs

Accessories

Electronics Shelf. The shelf is on the console and will fit and hold firmly a tablet, MP3 player. ebook reader and a small book or magazine although you may find they are too far away to read. When you put a tablet or e-reader on the shelf it will block the upper display but you can still see the lower display.

Speakers. You plug the personal electronics into the media port using the supplied media cable to use the speakers.

The sound from the speakers is adequate. If you like your music loud or are particular about quality you’ll be disappointed – you can hear the music but it doesn’t go very loud and it can sound flat. You may want to keep your head set.

The volume and track selection is controlled by the MP3 player etc.

Charging. The USB port on the console can be used to charge your electronics. It is a slow charge so if using the electronics at the same time you are likely to find that the battery doesn’t charge but it stops it from draining.

3 Speed Fan. The fan blows out at best a gentle breeze which helps a little bit in keeping you cool but it’s nowhere near enough a cooling wind.

Water Bottle Holder. This will hold a larger water bottle. It is at the left side of the seat slightly behind you with can make it a little difficult to grab while you exercise as you may find you have to turn slightly.

If you want to watch your TV the console is going to get in the way if you face it directly so it does need to be on angle to get a clear view of it.

Pros

  • It is a very quiet bike so can be used at any time
  • Bike can be quickly adjusted so multiple users can use it
  • It comes with 22 programs to provide lots of variety to your workout
  • Little cleaning and maintenance required
  • Assembly is straightforward
  • Resistance goes up smoothly in increments from easy to very hard
  • It has levelers to balance up the bike on uneven floors so it doesn’t move side to side
  • The two transport wheels at the front make the bike easy to move it around
  • 2 User profiles to keep track and monitor workouts separately
  • Easy to adjust seat to cater for sizes between 4ft 11 ins and 6 ft 3 ins
  • 10 year warranty on Frame
  • Fitness account for tracking progress over time
  • Able to plug in electronics for a slow battery charge
  • Resistance levels are displayed making it easy to know the level you are using and to reutrn to a previous setting

Cons

  • Displays aren’t backlit which makes them hard to see in poor light conditions
  • Bike needs to be plugged in for power to console and the resistance won’t work if there is no power
  • There is no guest profile so results are added to one of the 2 user profiles available
  • Not everyone likes the plastic seat finding it too hard
  • Fan doesn’t blow strong enough
  • Speakers aren’t very loud

Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike Consumer Ratings

Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike ReviewThis is well regarded bike on the whole with most customers being happy with their purchase.

However, unfortunately, not everyone is pleased with their purchase. In a few cases people have received a defective bike. The company seems to work hard to sort these problems. It would appear they try to get the bike repaired rather than replace it upfront which can add to some people’s frustration. This is just a small minority that have these type of issues and some that do have this happen are pleased with support from the company.

Other niggles mentioned are the seat not being comfortable, the speakers being too soft and the fan not blowing strongly enough.

Those aside the majority of customer like the quality of the workouts finding it quiet, acceptably comfortable and sturdy so they can get on with getting their cardio exercise when they want.

Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike Price

This is a mid-priced recumbent bike with good features such as the 22 programs, ability to upload results to a fitness account, speakers, fan and more.

Before looking at availability and shipping  here are a couple of comparisons to consider:

The bike is similar in features to the Schwinn 230 but it can be priced more depending on deals. The only differences that I can see is that has a better looking and clearer (display) console (without any extra features) and it uses the Nautilus Connect instead of the Schwinn Connect Fitness account to upload your workout results to. Some customers have said that the Nautilus feels more solid than the Schwinn 230 and it is listed as being 2.6 lbs heavier.

Both bikes do have good customer ratings.

It is also similar to the Nautilus R616 which is priced at more when I checked. The extras on the R616 is that it has 7 more workout programs, has bluetooth for uploading workouts to the fitness account, display screens are backlit, about 7 lbs heavier, more solid crank, larger pedals, 4 user profiles and will work with an uncoded Polar chest strap.

When I checked at Amazon the bike can qualify free shipping.

Click Here: To check current price and availability
Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike

Summary

The Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike can be used by beginners through to those wanting tough intense and low impact workouts.

It has a good simple way for adjusting the seat to accommodate a range of heights between 4 ft 11 and 6 ft 3 ins.
The console provides you with plenty of variety in workouts (22 programs) to help stop you from getting bored and keep you improving your fitness.

The only possible issue is if there are more than 2 of you wanting to use and track your progress as there is only 2 user profiles. Anyone over and above that will have their workouts added to one of the user profiles.

It’s very quiet and holds you firm at any intensity without any moving around. It is has a good smooth pedaling motion that allows you to get a good low impact cardio workout that is gentle on the joints to help you achieve your fitness goals no matter what level of fitness you are at.

1 comment for “Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike Review

  1. May 31, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    Your reviews are always so thorough and detailed. I appreciate that. Thank you!

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