Selecting a recumbent bike between Nautilus R614, R616, and R618 is not easy for those new to cycling. Even when training at home, the right recumbent bike can make a difference. Since there are so many types of users, these indoor bikes serve different purposes.
Seat design, weight capacity, programs, and even connectivity options make the 3 recumbent bikes different. Before purchasing one of the popular bikes, users need to understand their basic characteristics.
- 1 Nautilus R614 vs R616 vs R618 – who are they made for?
- 2 Features Comparison
- 3 Portability
- 4 Warranty comparison
- 5 How the Nautilus bikes stand up against the competition
- 6 A few drawbacks of the Nautilus bikes
- 7 Final considerations
Nautilus R614 vs R616 vs R618 – who are they made for?
Nautilus offers 29 training programs on the R616 and R618 bikes compared to the 22 programs on the R614. But the differences are also in the physical build of these bikes.
The Nautilus R614 recumbent bike is an affordable option. It may lack connectivity options such as Bluetooth, but it offers practical features that many users find useful, even when already having experience with these bikes.
There are 22 training programs supported by the bike. It offers continuous training versatility and a new fitness workout every day for more than 4 weeks. A goal track function is supported by the bike as well. It allows users to train for a specific goal when not relying on one of these workouts. The goal track function example is by setting a certain time for the cycling workout.
20 resistance levels power these workouts, goal-based cycling as well as simple cycling sessions. Resistance levels can easily be adjusted from the central console. It is also here that users find a pause button which interrupts the workout to resume it back in minutes. The function might be useful when stopping for a sip of water.
Heart rate contact pulse sensors are added to the bike. Users need to hold the built-in pulse grip to see a real-time reading. With the help of an adjustable seat, this is not complicated as the grips slide up and down with the seat.
A USB charging port, a media tray, and built-in speakers complete the practical recumbent bike. With 300lbs weight capacity, it’s among the well-rounded beginner-friendly recumbent bikes not only from Nautilus but from all similarly-priced bikes.
The R616 bike features 29 cycling programs. While 7 extra programs compared to those of the R614 aren’t much for beginners, those who train every day can appreciate their added value. There are other good reasons to consider the R616 as well.
Bluetooth connectivity is one of the main reasons users prefer the bike, especially over the more expensive R618. With the help of the Nautilus Trainer 2 app, the recumbent bike offers a complete training guide and one of the best solutions for those who need a bit of guidance. With performance statistics and nutrition tips, the app can be used to get in shape as a beginner.
The Bluetooth connectivity also supports chest straps for precise heart rate readings. While the bike features built-in pulse grips, it still benefits from the added wireless function users can rely on for constant readings, not only when holding the pulse grips.
25 resistance levels are added to the bike. With 5 more resistance levels than the R614, the recumbent bike offers extra challenges to overcome and to improve cardiovascular health. Those seeking to lose weight might be interested in switching up the resistance levels the most.
The LCD is also practical. It features a basic intensity graph which shows a visual representation of the effort level, without users having to worry about heartbeats per minute or other complicated statistics.
A USB charging port is also added to the central console. Mostly suitable to keep the smartphone charged while cycling and watching videos or listening to music, it’s a practical addition that allows users to use the bike as a multimedia outlet.
With built-in speakers, users also have the freedom of streaming their favorite music apps via Bluetooth. This connectivity option also allows the phone to be further away from the bike, anywhere around the room within the Bluetooth range.
Made with an ergonomic seat with a backrest, the bike is also easy to cycling on. Those worrying about sweating too much need to rest assured the perforated design of the backrest allows free airflow while offering the right back support.
The top of the line choice is the Nautilus R618. The recumbent bike offers the most features, the longest warranty, and the highest 325lbs weight capacity. However, the bike is mostly known for its gel-infused seat which adds unrivaled comfort to those spending many hours on the bike. The comfort of the seat is also something the elder users would appreciate more. There’s even a recline function on the seat to improve its adjustability.
Made with transportation wheels, the bike can be moved from one room to another easily. While too heavy to lift without help, those who simply want to move it on the same floor can do so using its durable transportation wheels.
Its console also comes with a tilt function, which is not supported on the other bikes. Users can set the right angle of the console regardless of their height for perfect visibility. Furthermore, homes, where multiple users rely on the recumbent bike, can appreciate this function the most.
A 3-speed fan blows air to reduce sweating. Users can control the speed of the fan depending on the intensity of the workout and on the room’s temperature. Acoustic speakers flank the fan and they’re used to stream favorite music via Bluetooth.
Common bike features
- Goal tracking – user set individual exercise goals
- Built-in speakers for better entertainment
- Media rack to hold smartphones and tablets when listening to music or watching movies
- USB charging – to keep all devices fully charged when watching videos on the bikes
- Adjustable resistance for a custom cycling experience
- Heart rate monitoring – contact or telemetry-based for chest strap heart rate measurement
- Cycling programs – users choose a new cycling program to train at different intensity
- Bluetooth connectivity – only on R616 and R618
- RideSocial App – custom training tips available only on R616 and R618
- Backlit LCD display – visible in low light and available only on R616 and R618\
- User weight capacity of 136kg or 299.8lbs – Nautilus R614
- User weight capacity of 136kg or 299.8lbs – Nautilus R616
- User weight capacity of 147kg or 325lbs – Nautilus R618
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All 3 recumbent bikes can be easily moved around the room. The 2 transportation wheels are located at the front of the bike. There’s an oversized ergonomic handle situated at the back of the bikes which serves as a grip point to move these bikes around.
Since even the base R614 model weighs 93 pounds, it’s not recommended to lift and move the bike using other methods. Since this bike is also large (65.3″ L x 28.3″ W x 49.6″ H), it’s best to ensure there’s sufficient room for it to be moved towards before lifting it by the handlebar.
The 3 recumbent bikes might be similar, but they have different warranty policies. Those interested in long-term indoor cycling are among the most interested in the Nautilus warranty. Here’s what the manufacturer has to offer.
The most affordable bike comes with an impressive warranty. Nautilus covers the frame for 10 years and parts for 2 years. Electronics are covered for 1 year and labor is covered for 90 days.
To benefit from these warranty policies, users need to notify Nautilus within 30 days after detecting an issue with the product.
The mid-range option, the Nautilus R616 comes with 10 years frame warranty. It features 3 years of mechanical parts warranty. The bike is also covered for 3 years on its electronics and up to 1 year for any labor.
For users to be eligible for these policies, they need to use the bike according to its instructions. Warranty is lost with the bike’s abuse as well as when users make modifications to its structure or electronics.
The most comprehensive warranty is offered on the R618 model. The recumbent bike is covered for 15 years on the frame and 3 years for its mechanical parts. Electronics are also covered for 3 years. Labor is covered up to 1 year.
While the bike has the most comprehensive maximum user weight capacity of the trio, users still have to abide by its 325lbs limit. Damaged caused by exceeding this limit automatically disqualifies the warranty.
|Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike||Check Price|
|Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike||Check Price|
|Nautilus R618 Recumbent Bike||Check Price|
How the Nautilus bikes stand up against the competition
Since the bikes come with a long warranty, 25 resistance levels, and Bluetooth connectivity, they also have serious competition outside Nautilus.
Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series 230
With 22 programs and 20 levels of resistance, Schwinn’s Series 230 is one of the similar options. It features a practical design with integrated pulse grips and a monitor which is easier to use. However, its plastic seat isn’t as comfortable as those from Nautilius and it might only be an option for those who love short workouts of up to 30 minutes.
Schwinn Recumbent Bike Series 270
With a more comfortable seat and 29 programs, the recumbent bike is one of the strongest alternatives to the R618. Compatible with the Schwinn Trainer app, it offers a complete training solution at any fitness level.
The bike is also compatible with the Explore the World App (subscription required) which offers it even more versatility. Users can pedal popular cycling locations around the world from the comfort of their homes. However, since it’s an extra service, the bike doesn’t offer anything considerably better than Nautilus.
Marcy Me 709
With 8 levels of magnetic resistance, Marcy Me 709 is an affordable alternative to the occasional user. Not made with the latest technology, most programs, or the most resistance levels, the recumbent bike still offers good versatility for those who might only be using the bike occasionally.
This is the main reason it comes with a minimalist screen as well as the data these users are interested in isn’t as complex as the statistics shown on the Nautilus Bluetooth-enabled bikes.
|Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709||Check Price|
With 8 levels of magnetic resistance, Excepreutic’s 900XL is an alternative to the Nautilus R614. It also comes with 300lbs of weight capacity. However, the recumbent bike only offers a small digital display which isn’t as easy to read as the one on the R614.
A few drawbacks of the Nautilus bikes
Nautilus recumbent bikes are known for their reliability. However, they come with small inconveniences as well. For example, the brightness of the display can’t be adjusted. A few users expressed views on this and they said the display is just too bright and sometimes upsetting.
Then there’s the placement of the tablet holder which blocks off the view of the display. Placed below the screen, the tablet holder should sit above the screen, as with other similar recumbent bikes. But most users also agree these are small issues that can be overlooked.
The 3 Nautilus bikes are known for their reliability. Made with solid materials, they represent durable fitness machines which are very easy to use. Unlike a spin bike, these recumbent bikes also allow the user to sit in a more comfortable position with the help of the large seat.
If comfort is the main priority, the R618 recumbent bike is the main option with its gel insertions into the seat. Those seeking the ultimate performance may also be better off with the R618 give it has the most programs and the highest resistance level numbers. With the added multimedia options, it is the fitness machines to consider by those who like a similar experience to cycling on the gym’s recumbent bike.
On the other hand, those shopping on a limited budget still get a good deal with the Nautilus R614. Apart from missing Bluetooth connectivity, the bike still offers 22 programs and a simple free-cycle mode which users can rely on to stay in shape or to use as a weight loss aid.