Nautilus R616 Recumbent Bike Review
The Nautilus R616 recumbent bike is one of Nautilus’s high-end recumbent bikes from their R6 series. It has a variety of features that incorporate the latest technology in recumbent bikes.
It has 29 workout programs, 25 resistance levels, Bluetooth connectivity, ability to connect to the RideSocial app and Nautilus Trainer 2 app, and it has heart rate monitoring that is both contact and telemetry enabled. The workout programs include a variety of fitness tests and heart rate control programs.
With that many workout programs and resistance levels, the bike caters to a variety of users of different fitness levels, ranging from beginners to fitness enthusiasts looking to challenge themselves.
The maximum user weight capacity of the bike is 300 lbs which is standard for recumbent bikes with similar specifications. The design is a simple, compact walk-through design that makes getting on or off the bike easy. Due to the myriad of advanced features offered by the bike, it retails at a price of $549 on Amazon.
- Bluetooth connectivity, syncs with Nautilus Trainer 2 App and other apps for fitness tracking
- Sync with Ride Social App and see the world as you virtually ride alongside friends in real time
- 29 workout programs: 12 profile, 9 heart rate control, 4 custom, 2 fitness test, 1 recovery test, 1 quick start
- 1 General Information and Technical Specifications
- 2 Frame, Overall Design and Layout
- 3 Seat Design and Features
- 4 Resistance and Drive
- 5 Console Design and Features
- 6 Heart Rate Monitoring
- 7 Workout Programs
- 8 Accessory Features
- 9 Nautilus R616 Excercise Bike Pros & Cons:
General Information and Technical Specifications
Product Dimensions: Height- 49.6 inches (126 cm), Length- 65.3 inches (166 cm), Width- 28.3 inches (72 cm).
It is recommended to keep at least 24 inches (0.6m) of clearance space on each side of the machine for safe use and easy access. So, allow an area of 77 inches by 114 inches (193 cm x 290cm) for the machine to be stored.
Machine Weight: 91.9 lbs (41.7 kg)
Maximum User Weight Capacity: 300 lbs (136 kg)
Drive and Resistance: Offers 25 levels of magnetic resistance (Eddy Current Braking)
Console: 2 Dual Track Blue Backlit LCD Displays for better readability
Connectivity: Bluetooth enabled, ability to connect to RideSocial and Nautilus Trainer 2 app, Compatible with MyFitnessPal
Heart Rate Monitoring: Contact Heart Rate sensors on handlebar grips, Telemetry enabled heart rate sensing from chest straps.
Power Requirements: Operating Voltage- 9 VDC, Operating Current- 1.5A, AC Power Adaptor- UL listed, Rated 1009-2409 50/60Hz Input, 99DC, 1500mA Output. Class 2.
Seat: Adjustable, Ergonomically designed seat
Extra Features: Sound system that is MP3 compatible, Water Bottle Holder, Media Tray to hold your electronics, USB charging port to keep devices fully charged
Warranty Information: Structural Frame- 10 years, Electronics-3 years, Mechanical Parts-3 years, Labour-90 days
Frame, Overall Design and Layout
The overall design of the bike is quite spacious, sleek and ergonomic. The seat is placed in a reclined position to offer comfort and the handlebars on either side of the seat are located at the bottom of the seat so that they don’t interfere with someone getting on or off the bike. So, the bike has a simple walk-through design for easy access.
The bike’s structure comprises of two main parts, the front part contains the console and drive. The rear part contains the seat which is mounted on a diagonally placed adjustability rail. The frame of the bike is largely made from steel, which makes it gives it strength and stability. Hence, the bike can withstand up to 300 lbs of user weight.
The whole frame rests on two stabilizers located at the front and back. There are adjustable levelers on both stabilizers to account for uneven ground and keeps the bike stable during vigorous exercises. There are also small transport wheels at the front stabilizer that enables the bike to be relocated with ease.
The Nautilus R616 model has quite a large frame, which is expected for a recumbent bike with such advanced features. It weighs approximately 90 lbs and with the recommended footprint area of 193 cm x 290 cm, it may not be suitable for people who don’t have much room.
Seat Design and Features
The Nautilus R616 model features a comfortable, ergonomically designed seat that is padded to add comfort. The seat is adjustable to accommodate users of varying heights. The seat can be adjusted using the leveler located below the seat to easily shift the position of the seat on the rail.
The rail is diagonal, so when you adjust the seat, the position changes both vertically and horizontally. The seat can be adjusted easily during the workout.
Based on customer testimonials, users as short as 5’’0 or as tall as 6’’3 have had no issues using the bike. For people who are very short, the only issue might be that they won’t be able to reach the backrest while pedaling.
The backrest is solid and contoured, to offer maximum support for your lower back and spine. The backrest is made from sturdy polyurethane and has a meshed design to offer ventilation. This is quite a nice aspect of the design because, with so many resistance levels and grueling workouts, it is bound to get sweaty and overheated at the back.
However, the only limitation is that the backrest is not adjustable. This is not a problem that is limited to this particular bike though, very few recumbent bikes have adjustable backrests.
Resistance and Drive
The bike uses an eddy current braking system to provide resistance. It is also known as magnetic resistance because it uses a set of magnets to add resistance to the flywheel. When you increase the resistance level, the magnets are closer to the flywheel, creating a greater resistance to work against. When the resistance level is reduced, vice versa.
The magnetic resistance makes it smoother and quieter to transition between resistance levels. Overall, the bike offers an impressive 29 levels of resistance, which is the same as Nautilus’s R618 version.
The drive system used is a belt drive. Because the bike uses an eddy current brake system, it requires a power source. The bike comes with the appropriate adapter to plug in the bike.
The console on the Nautilus R616 model is quite advanced, with a Dual Track blue backlit LCD screen that offers great readability.
The console is Bluetooth enabled, so it can connect to apps such as MyFitnessPal, Nautilus Trainer 2, and RideSocial app which makes it easier to track your progress.
The upper display will show data that is related to the workout such as:
Intensity Display– This shows the level of work carried out at the current resistance level
Goal Display– This shows the kind of goal currently chosen, whether it is based on time, speed or distance. It shows the percentage of the goal completed and the remaining value needed to reach it.
Program Display– Shows the course profile of the current workout. The course profile is a grid with colored bars to show the resistance level at different intervals of the workout. The grid is divided into several equal time segments and the resistance level is shown for each time segment. Taller the bar, greater the resistance.
Heart Rate Zone Display– This shows which heart rate zone the user’s current heart rate falls under. The heart rate zone can be used to determine the type of exercise you do, such as anaerobic, aerobic, fat burning, etc. The heart rate displayed is the one measured by the contact heart rate sensors at the handlebar grips or the one detected by the telemetry HR receiver from the chest strap.
User Display- This shows the currently selected user profile.
Achievement Display- This shows any workout milestones achieved by the user.
Meanwhile, the lower display will show data with detailed metrics of the workout, such as:
Speed: Shows the current machine speed in miles per hour (mph) or kilometers per hour (kmph)
Time: Shows the duration of the workout, the time the machine has been operating, etc.
Distance: Shows the distance ‘traveled’ during the workout in both imperial and metric units.
Level: Shows the current resistance level selected
RPM: Shows the pedaling speed in revolutions per minute
Heart Rate Pulse: Shows the user’s current heart rate in beats per minute (BPM), as measured by the contact heart rate sensors in the handlebar grips
Calories: Shows the calories burnt during the workout
Heart Rate Monitoring
The console is equipped to read the heart rate as detected by the Contact Heart Rate sensors. The sensors are located on the steel touchpads of the handlebar grips. To get a proper signal, the handlebars must be gripped firmly where the contact pads are. Hold it for a few seconds until the heart rate is detected and then verified.
There may be things that interfere with the heart rate readings such as dirt, sweat, or gels on your hands. Another source of interference could be the tiny electrical signals produced by your body during intense muscle contraction.
The console is also equipped to detect telemetry HR signals transmitted from a Heart Rate Chest Strap Transmitter which works in the frequency range 4.5kHz-5.5kHz. The chest strap should be an uncoded heart rate chest strap from Polar Electro or Polar. To avoid any interference with the telemetry signals, avoid placing any electronic devices too close to yourself. Beware that these signals could also interfere with any medical devices on the user such as pacemakers.
In total there are 29 workout programs. Of these, 9 are heart rate control programs, 1 Quick Start Program, 1 User Profile, 2 fitness tests, 1 recovery test, 4 custom programs, and 12 pre-set workout programs.
Quick Start Program/ Manual Mode:
In this mode, users can select their own resistance level throughout the workout. Firstly, a user profile needs to be selected and then pressing the Quick Start button on the console will select the manual mode. The user can change the resistance for each time interval in the workout.
With the Nautilus R616 bike, you can store 4 user profiles with personal data on each user stored per profile. This is ideal if you’re sharing the bike with people. The user profile contains the following information:
This data is important to calculate the calories burnt and heart rate zone during the workouts.
There are 12 pre-set workouts stored in the console and each has its own course profile. The workout programs are:
- Stream Crossing
- Ride in the Park
- Rolling Hills
- Easy Tour
- Pike’s Peak
- Mount Hood
- Summit Pass
- Uphill Finish
With such a wide variety of pre-set programs and the many resistance levels to choose from, users can change up their workout routine with many choices. You can try low-intensity cardio workouts or high-intensity interval training. You can tailor a workout for any goal or situation.
From the pre-set workouts, the FUN RIDES workouts are for easy-going, relaxed workouts. They are good for beginners or for a quick warm-up. The MOUNTAINS workouts aim to push yourself into reaching new resistance levels since these workouts have a high peak resistance level in the middle of the course profile. The CHALLENGES workouts are designed to keep you on your toes and improve your endurance because you have to maintain a moderate resistance level throughout the whole workout.
Recovery Test Program
This test is designed to gauge how fast your heart rate can recover from a period of intense exercise to a resting state. The quicker the recovery time, the fitter you are.
Heart Rate Control Programs
This option allows users to set goals for the heart rate. You can select a target heart rate zone you want your heart rate to be during certain stages of the workout, and then the machine will adjust the resistance level to keep your heart rate at that target zone.
The console comes with a sound system that is compatible with iPods and MP3 players so that you can listen to your own music during the workout. There is a tray to hold your electronic devices such as tablets and phones.
The console has a USB charging port also, where you can charge your devices.
To summarize the key benefits and drawbacks of the Nautilus R616 recumbent bike, here is a list of pros and cons
Nautilus R616 Excercise Bike Pros & Cons:
- An impressive number of workout programs, 29. This includes 12 pre-set workouts, 2 fitness tests, Quick Start/Manual Mode, 9 Heart Rate Control Programs. The variety of workout programs enables users to do many different exercises, ranging from steady-state cardio to interval training.
- Easy walk-through, spacious design which makes getting on or off the bike easy
- Has 4 user profiles, great for sharing the bike with people
- High user weight capacity at 300 lbs.
- Has an impressive number of resistance levels-25, which caters to users of varying fitness levels.
- Ergonomically designed adjustable seat, which caters to users of different heights. The backrest is contoured and ventilated.
- Has great added features such as a sound system that is compatible with MP3 and iPods. Also has a handy USB charging port to charge your devices
- The console is Bluetooth enabled which allows connectivity to apps such as RideSocial, MyFitnessPal, and Nautilus Trainer app.
- Transport wheels for easy relocation and storage
- Adjustable levelers on stabilizers to maintain stability
- Has contact heart rate sensors, as well as telemetry, enabled heart rate readings
- Not great for people who don’t have much space to store the bike
- Telemetry heart rate signals can interfere with medical devices such as pacemakers
- The backrest is not adjustable
Overall, Nautilus R616 is an excellent bike for people looking for a lot of functions and smart technology. With 25 resistance levels and 29 workout programs, it caters to a wide audience with a range of fitness levels and goals. As it is not the lightest or cheapest bike, it is good for people who aren’t limited by budget or space.