Nautilus R616 Recumbent Exercise Bike Review: Is it a good value?
Is there a more consistent quality home exercise bike manufacturer on the market right now than Nautilus? Both their upright bikes and the recumbent model R616, seem to constantly offer higher value for money compared to many others on the market.
Of course, they aren’t perfect machines by any means, and the lower down in price you go the more features seem to be left out. But that’s what we’re here for. We’re going to try and review the cheaper model of the Nautilus recumbent exercise bike series: the Nautilus R616.
We’re going to look at the Nautilus R616 recumbent bike and see just how well it actually stacks up compared to the R618 recumbent bike. We’ll do this by looking at elements like the resistance, technology, preset programs, and warranties that come with this model.
So with all of that out of the way, let’s hop right into our review of the Nautilus R616 indoor recumbent bike! But before that, let’s compare the two Nautilus recumbent exercise bikes (R616 and R618) to see how they differ from each other.
We’ve mentioned price and value a few times now, so it only makes sense to start with this type of element. The Nautilus R616 recumbent bike will cost between $550 and $570, which is fairly cheap for these types of commercial bikes at home. You also typically get some pretty solid warranties with Nautilus bikes. The same is true here. You will find a 10-year warranty on the frame of the bike, a 3 year warranty on the parts, a 3 year warranty on the electronics and even 1 year on the labor.
While it might not have as much frame warranty length as the R618, the warranty plan that comes with the R616 recumbent bike is still far superior to a lot of other recumbent exercise bikes out there. The shipping process shouldn’t take too long if you are located in the continental United States, although it might start to take longer if you happen to be shipping it elsewhere.
Perhaps 1-2 weeks normally, with that duration increasing as the bike rises and falls with popularity and demand. Once it does arrive, you have to put it together. This actually proves to be a fairly straightforward process thanks to the simple instructions and tools that are provided. Even those who aren’t particularly handy or experienced at such processes should find it easy enough to complete in about an hour.
The next element that we are going to look at on the Nautilus R616 indoor recumbent bike is the electronic bit of it. You will find that the monitor on here will blow those offered by other stationary recumbent bikes straight out of the water and into the atmosphere. There are 29 different workout programs available on the monitor, which is quite a lot of content to deal with.
There is the classic quick start manual program, but then there are also 4 custom modes, 2 fitness tests, 12 different profile workouts and so much more. No matter which you select, it will display on the upper of the 2 backlit LCD screens, with your workout statistics being located on the lower half. These statistics that you can track include your time, distance, calories, speed and heart rate.
They can be displayed in either English or metric measurements, which is always a nice touch. This monitor has another impressive factor in the Bluetooth capabilities that are on offer here. You can connect to apps like MyFitnessPal or Nautilus’ Trainer 2 in order to track the long-term statistics of your cycling.
Then there are other apps that you can connect to like the RideSocial app in order to get some other forms of entertainment and socialization going while onboard. It is just a ton of value squeezed into such a small bit of technology. The monitor here is actually quite similar to the higher-tier R618 and is more advanced than monitors that you would find on stationary bikes like the Schwinn 230 recumbent bike.
But of course, where would indoor cycling bikes be without their ability to implement resistance and get people fit? The Nautilus R616 is no different. Fortunately, it has the same level of resistance as the more expensive R618. There are 25 different resistance levels, which offers a lot of control over the workout. The high levels offer plenty of resistance and you can fine-tune it however you wish.
The resistance itself is a magnetic one that combines with the belt drive in the system to create a very quiet and very smooth experience. The exact weight of the flywheel weight isn’t given, although based on the weight of the overall bike (more on that later), it should be about 15 – 17 lbs. We do know that it is a perimeter-weighted flywheel, so it isn’t one of those giant ones that will provide practically unlimited resistance. This is one of the areas that it differs from the R618, which has a 30 lb flywheel. Where it doesn’t differ is the type of crank it has holding the pedals.
Both have 3-piece cranks holding the pedals together. These types of cranks are superior to the 1-piece cranks you might find on other bikes, as those are little more than a welded bar running through the bottom of the bike. We don’t know the Q-Factor of the Nautilus R616 either, which is unfortunate.
For those who are unaware, the Q-Factor is the distance between the pedals. If it is too narrow, then you risk injury and discomfort. If it is too wide, you merely face the discomfort part, but it is still unpleasant. However, considering how there are no real complaints about this aspect of the bike, we think that it falls comfortably in the “good” region.
Typically most people want to know how big of a bike they are getting. Fortunately, we do have the information available that matches the size and weight of the Nautilus R616 recumbent bike. It measures out to be 65.3 inches (165.9 cm) long, 28.3 inches (71.8 cm) wide and 49.6 inches (126 cm) tall. It weighs a fairly hefty 91.9 lbs (41.7 kg) and can hold a fairly hefty 300 lbs (136 kg). There are floor stabilizers in the back of the bike to keep you in place during workouts. There are also transport wheels in the front in order to help with movements around the home, although these are quite small.
We’re going to finish out with the rest of the physical elements of the Nautilus R616 recumbent bike. There are 2 pairs of handlebars on the bike, with one being up on the console next to the handlebars and another pair being at the sides of the seat. The ones at the side have pulse sensors on them that allow for tracking your heart rate without a chest strap. Both sets of handlebars are rather comfortable thanks to the rubber material that covers them.
Then there is the seat, which has a ventilated open back and padded surface. A downside to the Nautilus R616 compared to the R618 is that it does not have the same adjustable angle of the backrest. This was nice to have, as it would allow for even more customization during the assembly process. That said, the seat slides easily back and forth making it a good recumbent exercise bike for a short person.
The pedals aren’t anything too exceptional here. They are weighted and have adjustable straps in order to keep your feet in place, but that’s about it. As for any other bonus bits, there are a few additional things you should know about. There is a media rack that is on the main console, although it will cover the upper half of the monitor. Then there’s a 3-speed fan in order to keep yourself cool during the workout. A water bottle holder sits on the left side of the bike, while MP3 and USB ports can also be found onboard. It’s a pretty darn complete package.
Nautilus R616 recumbent bike Pros:
- Magnetic resistance and belt drive make for a quiet and smooth resistance
- 25 different resistance levels to pick from
- 29 different programs available on the monitor
- Monitor has Bluetooth connections to a variety of workout and social apps
- The saddle is quite comfortable
- The 3-piece crank that is present is inherently better than 1-piece cranks
- The warranty package is a lot better than many others out there
- Sturdy and hefty frame that can hold a large amount of weight
Nautilus R616 recumbent bike Cons:
- No angle adjustable backrest
- The media tray covers the upper half of the monitor
- It is a heavy bike that some might have trouble moving around
- No resistance controls on the handlebars
- No gel padding on the seat for extra comfort
Nautilus R616 recumbent bike
The Nautilus R616 recumbent bike is most certainly a good choice for those looking at these types of bikes. It might lack some of the additional features of the Nautilus R618 like the angle-adjustable back, gel seat, and resistance controls on the handlebars, but it otherwise has the full package. It is a bit unfortunate that the frame warranty of the R616 is 5 years shorter than that of the R618, but that also isn’t that surprising. Considering this is all for a price that is cheaper than the Schwinn 270, you have got yourself a pretty good deal here. If you aren’t willing to go all-in on some of the more expensive exercise bikes out there, the Nautilus R616 recumbent bike definitely serves as a good alternative.
Nautilus R616 and R618 Recumbent Bike Comparison
Nautilus is the parent company of Schwinn and Octane Fitness, and they offer two models of excellent recumbent exercise bikes. The R616 is their basic model, while the R618 is a more advanced machine.
The main difference between the two Nautilus recumbent bikes is that the R618 has a better seat with gel padding and convenient resistance controls on the handlebars for easy resistance change. Nautilus R618 recumbent exercise bike also has a more durable seat rail so it would need less maintenance.
There are a few other minor improvements in appearance as well. For finance, the R618 has a plastic cover at the back of the console where it attaches to the post. The same goes for the backrest, the R618 has a better-looking and more comfortable backrest with better support.
Other than that, pretty much the rest of the features on both Nautilus recumbent bikes are the same. If you’re looking for a quality recumbent exercise bike, either one of these Nautilus models would be a great choice.
However, if you want the best possible experience, the R618 is the way to go. It’s only $200 more expensive but offers the features and comfort to justify the extra money.
Nautilus R616 Alternative Recumbent Bikes
If you are going to spend less than $600, buy the Nautilus R616 recumbent exercise bike and don’t look for a better alternative because there isn’t one.
However, if you want to spend less and looking for an alternative to the Nautilus R616 recumbent exercise bike but still get a good quality recumbent stationary bike, I would suggest the Xterra SB2 or the Circuit Fitness AMZ 587R.
Both of these recumbent exercise bikes are often cheaper than the Nautilus R616, but they still offer a good quality workout.
The Xterra SB2 has the same footprint but around $250 less than the Nautilus R616, making it a good choice for people with a limited budget. It also has 16 resistance levels, making it a good choice for people who want to be able to vary their workout.
The Circuit Fitness AMZ 587R is a good choice for people who want a challenge, as it has 24 resistance levels. It also has a built-in heart rate monitor, so you can keep track of your fitness level. whichever exercise bike you choose, you are sure to get a good workout.