The Tremendous Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike

A lady is riding the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike

Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike – When it comes to a recumbent bike I currently own one and have owned several over the years.   Not to mention, all the bikes I have used that I did not own.  Recumbent bikes like the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike are great for people like myself who have chronic back problems.  Because of the seat being in a reclining position, you are not putting all your weight on your spine.  

Speaking for myself, this makes a huge difference. I can not use an upright exercise bike very long without my back acting up.  I used to walk all the time for years but eventually, my back could not take it anymore.  Once I had started using a recumbent bike, it has worked out great for me.

It’s vital for our health to be mobile. That does not mean long workouts at the gym every other day either.  Going for short walks and working around your house can be just as beneficial.  If I were to just sit all day and do nothing my back would get even worse. In fact, if I have not moved around enough my back will eventually let me know.  It can get really pissed off at me if it wants! Even if I am in some pain I still have to move. It’s not always easy but you have to keep moving.

Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike Introduction

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The Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike

In 2014 the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike was first introduced to the market. It’s remained rated as one of the top recumbent bikes since its inception. This model is part of a collection that also includes the highly rated R614 and R618

Does going from the R614 to the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike justify paying a little extra? I will answer that question and more with my review below. I will go more into the design, workout programs, display functions, warranty, and finally the price. The range on pricing for a recumbent bike is $300 to $1500. You will find some that are higher priced but that is usually for the commercial recumbent bikes. Commercial quality exercise equipment is what you find at a gym or where physical therapy is performed.

Is the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike Really Worth It?

A business stands with his arm crossed over his waste and the other hand up to his face with one finger in the corner of his mouth in question.

This recumbent bike has 25 levels of Eddy Current Braking resistance which is also referred to as ECB for short.  That’s an increase over the 20 levels that comes with the lower priced R614.

The seat of the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike has greater ventilation in the back support than many of the other recumbent bikes.  My back sweats really easily so the ventilation is a big plus.  

I like how the ECB resistance is very quiet when using it.  The high-speed high-inertia perimeter-weighted flywheel does a good job making sure your cycling motion stays smooth and consistent. This is aided by the upgrade they did to the deluxe oversized pedals, unlike the R614.  A wider pedal offers more of a variety of foot positions, providing a more efficient transfer of power.

It’s built with a low profile crossbeam along with lumbar support. The has a reclined seat to create workouts that are effective, low impact, and comfortable, especially on your back. 

Display Console

This is the display console for the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike.

Fitness equipment companies now will often integrate with tablet and smartphone support into their products.

That’s great if you enjoy that sort of thing while you workout. Sometimes watching movies or working out with others, even if it’s not in person, can be a great motivator. There are some features you will want to look at and see how beneficial they can be for you.

All of the newer recumbent bikes have a media shelf or reading rack. These are to support a tablet, a smartphone, a book, and so on. One caveat, with many of the recumbent bikes on the market having the media shelf.  Depending on where the shelf is positioned you may have to juggle your view between monitoring your workout and watching a movie.

You do not have to worry about this with the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike because it comes with the DualTrack™ Backlit LCD Screens. What does this mean? Example: If you find your view is still being blocked by your tablet, you can still keep track of your bike stats using the lower display.

The Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike has several differences when it comes to design compared to the lower-priced R614 design, which is to be expected. In addition to the multiple display screens, the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike showcases a 3-speed adjustable cooling fan, a USB charging station, and Bluetooth connectivity for syncing your workout data and built-in speakers. There is also a Feedback Display on the screen that includes your RPM (revolutions per minute), calories burned, distance, speed, time, and heart rate.

Sync Your Data to Apps

A laptop and iPhone on the infinity symbol representing syncing two devices together.

Another upgrade compared to the Nautilus R614 is the addition of Bluetooth connectivity.  This will allow you to sync workout data from a choice of multiple fitness apps.

Nautilus has its own app Nautilus® Trainer 2.  Depending on the type of device you have, you can download this application from either Google Play or Apple. Another option you might want to try is syncing up your workout data to MyFitnessPal. They will push automatic updates towards your daily goals.  What I really like is you still have the option to export your data via the USB port.  

Workout Programs & User Profiles

The following goes more in depth with the preset programs:

  • Mountains – This program has more of a variety in resistance levels than the Fun Rides, including varying levels of intensity. It has two very challenging programs named Summit Pass, Mount Hood, and Summit Pass. These two additional programs are great options for developing your lower body strength.
  • Challenges – If you are looking to maximize your endurance, then Challenges will make it happen. This program is built for high intensity and comes with two variations for interval training. 
  • Heart Rate Controlled (HRC) – If you hold onto the touch sensors or wear the chest belt? Just before you begin your workout you can set it to your target heart rate for your workout. From there, the resistance system will automatically adjust as needed to keep you at your targeted level.
  • Fun Rides – This is a collection of lower-intense programs with less of a variation in resistance levels and more of a focus on steady-state cardio. It’s ideal for anyone starting a new fitness routine.
  • Fitness Tests – You are able to monitor your progress using the data sync combined with fitness apps. You have the option of choosing between two different types of fitness tests. 

Each  test will generate a score that will be used and compared with your future data  to see just how much your fitness plan is working for you.

The Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike only offers the standard Fitness Test. That test will compare the power output to your heart rate. On the other hand, the Nautilus R616 also includes the quite popular Recovery Test program.

That program will measure how quickly your heart rate will return to normal after you exercise. Reducing recovery time is a key indicator of improving physical fitness.

User Profiles

Graphic with a group of men and woman with the content bubbles over each of their heads.

The Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike has double the number of user profiles as compared to the R614.  The R616 gives you four profiles to work with. This is ideal if you have multiple people using the bike.  Everyone can have their own workout pre-set so when it’s their time to work out they will be ready to go. 

The profiles will allow you to add your information like your weight and age. That data will get calculated with other data. This information is used to help you get the most out of your workouts from data that is curated specifically for you. 

Having the four profiles really makes it ideal for a family that likes to stay active and to this as part of their fitness routine. Being able to store your information in a profile, makes working out a lot easier. 

Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike Video

Nautilus R614 Vs Nautilus R616

There is the Nautilus R614 and then in front of it the Nautilus R616.

I have gone over comparing the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike and the Nautilus R614. Hopefully, this information will help you make a better decision if you have contemplated purchasing one of the two of these models?

Programs

A Graphic with a toy sized man holding up a list with dumbbells and other exercise equipment around him. He stands on a iPhone with hand holding it.

Both of these models have extensive pre-programmed workouts. However, the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike has the edge with 29 programs compared to the Nautilus  R614 with 22 programs. But 22 still gives you a nice variety.

Profiles

This graphic shows 6 woman and men from the chest up.

The Nautilus R616 has the ability to accommodate four different users by providing them with custom profiles and storing their workout data. The Nautilus R614 can only handle two profiles.

Flywheel

The Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike showing the Flywheel and Pedals.

Both models have the perimeter weighted flywheel that makes using either bike a smooth and quiet experience. If you like watching TV while you are working out, you do not have to worry about cranking up the volume to hear it. There are bikes that are just loud enough to where you can not hear the TV or music at a decent level. So, you have to crank it up. Normally, that is not a big deal. But if there are others around it could be a problem? Maybe you live in a condo or an apartment?

Heart Rate Monitor

Heart Cardiogram line tracing.

The Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike gives you much more flexibility. The R614 does do a good job but you need to hold on to the handheld heart rate monitor. You can do the same with the R616 along with the handheld heart rate grips. But it also has a more modern chest strap that is far more accurate.

Dual Track LCD Screen

The Nautilus R616 and R614 both have the Dual Track LCD Screen. The screens are bright and easy to navigate. Again, I feel the Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike has the edge over the R614.  Because it has blue back-light that really makes a big difference when trying to read in dimly lit areas. Plus, I think it looks cool.

USB and Bluetooth

Bluetooth adapter.

Both models have the USB charging port. The R616 model has Bluetooth connectivity where the R614 does not. Both of them have the ability to export your workout data to MyFitnesspal.com and NautilusConnect. This gives you the ability to monitor your fitness progress.

The Nautilus R616 and R614 both are flexible and can be easily adjusted to satisfy the needs of an array of users. What I like is the ventilated seatbacks that come with both models for creating a nice airflow. My back sweats easily so having a vented seat really makes a difference for me.  Where the R616 has an edge is its padded contoured seat. 

If you need to pack up your recumbent bike in between workouts, or transport it from one part of your home to another, Nautilus has equipped both models with transport wheels for easy movement.

Both of these bikes come with a 3 speed fan. When I first heard about it I laughed a little. I was thinking there is no way that fan is going to make any difference when it comes to cooling you down.  I was definitely wrong about that!  It does a great job cooling you off just enough to take the edge off. 

The Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike clearly has the edge when compared to the Nautilus R614. If you are on a tight budget going with the Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike will save you a couple of hundred dollars. I have written a review covering R614 if you would like to learn more about it.

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