Nautilus Upright Bike Reviews, Comparisons & Why I Love Them
Looking at the various options of stationary upright bikes on the market, you can generally get an idea of which ones are worth more than others. However, once you get into the mid and lower range of exercise bikes, it can become rather difficult to actually pick out which ones are worth more than others. That’s where we attempt to come in. We’re here to compare a variety of upright exercise bikes against one another and see just which one comes out on top in terms of value for money.
But which bikes are we going to be looking at today? We’ve chosen the lineup of upright bikes offered to the world by Nautilus. These are the U618, the U616, and the U614 exercise bikes. Generally regarded as some of the better options in the world of cheaper upright bikes, we’re going to check out specifically which bike offers what and see how they compare to one another in terms of overall value.
Nautilus U618, U616, and U614 Upright Bikes
|Name||Nautilus U618||Nautilus U616||Nautilus U614|
|Capacity||325 lbs (147.7 kg)||300 lbs (136 kg)||300 lbs (136 kg)|
|Pedals||Weighted with straps||Standard with straps||Standard with straps|
|Resistance||25-Level electronic magnetic||25-Level electronic magnetic||20-Level electronic magnetic|
|Controls||With Built-in resistance controls on handles||No Built-in resistance controls on handles||No Built-in resistance controls on handles|
|Flywheel||30 lbs (13.6 kg)||22 lbs (10 kg)||13 lbs (5.9 kg)|
|Seat||Gel cushion||Foam cushion||Foam cushion|
|Bottle Holders||Dual bottle holders||Single holder||Single holder|
|Bluetooth||For app connection, headphone, and HRM||For app connection, headphone, and HRM||None|
|Applications||Nautilus, ETW, Zwift, Peloton, and more through QZ application||Nautilus, ETW, Zwift, Peloton, and more through QZ application||None|
|Feedback||Time, speed, distance, RPM, resistance level, calories burned and heart rate||Time, speed, distance, RPM, resistance level, calories burned and heart rate||Time, speed, distance, RPM, resistance level, calories burned and heart rate|
|Fit||5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm)||5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm)||5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm)|
- Nautilus U618 Upright Exercise Bike Review
- Nautilus U616 Upright Exercise Bike Review
- Nautilus U614 Upright Exercise Bike Review
Nautilus U618, U616, and U614 Technical Information
|Nautilus U618||325 lbs (147.7 kg)||83.1 lbs (37.7 kg)||24 in (61 cm)||38.5 in (97.8 cm)||58.3 in (148 cm)||5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm)|
|Nautilus U616||300 lbs (136 kg)||63 lbs (26.8 kg||21.6 in (55 cm)||41.8 in (104 cm)||57.6 in (146 cm)||5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm)|
|Nautilus U614||300 lbs (136 kg)||59 lbs (26.8 kg)||21.6 in (55 cm)||41.8 in (104 cm)||57.6 in (146 cm)||5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm)|
The first part of these Nautilus stationary bikes that we are going to examine is the technical information. What sort of size and weight do these Nautilus upright exercise bikes come with and what sorts of people will they comfortably fit? For the latter question, you’ll find that they can all hold people between the heights of 5’0″ and 6’5″ (153 – 196 cm) with a large degree of comfort. They are also all made with a fairly standard steel frame.
Starting with the Nautilus U618 upright bike, you’ll find that this is the largest (just barely) and heaviest of the lineup. It measures out to be 38.5 in (97.8 cm) long, 24 in (61 cm) wide and 58.3 in (148 cm) tall. Meanwhile it weighs 83.1 lbs (37.7 kg) and can hold a massive 325 lbs (147.7 kg).
The Nautilus U616 indoor bike is up next. It is slightly narrower and shorter than the U618, but it is longer. The U616 measures out to be 41.8 in (104 cm) long, 21.6 in (55 cm) wide and 57.6 in (146 cm) tall. It weighs 63 lbs (26.8 kg) and has a smaller maximum weight limit of 300 lbs (136 kg).
Finally, there is the Nautilus U614 upright bike. It measures out to be 41.8 in (104 cm) long, 21.6 in (55 cm) wide and 57.6 in (146 cm) tall. As for how much it weighs, it is the lightest of the trio. It weighs 59 lbs (26.8 kg) and can hold the same 300 lbs (136 kg) that the U614 can.
Drivetrain, Resistance, Flywheel & Pedals
|Nautilus U618||Belt||Weighted w/ straps||Magnetic||3-piece||30 lbs (13.6 kg)|
|Nautilus U616||Belt||Non-slip w/ straps||Magnetic||3-piece||22 lbs (10 kg)|
|Nautilus U614||Belt||Non-slip w/ straps||Magnetic||3-piece||13 lbs (5.9 kg)|
The next elements that we’re going to be examining are the resistance and pedals. These are what really determine how much fitness you can get out of it, so it makes sense that you’d want some quality here. All of the bikes have a belt drivetrain, which makes the entire process quieter and require less maintenance. They also all use a magnetic resistance system to deliver the challenge. The last aspect that they all share is the 3-piece crank of the pedals. This makes them more durable and less likely to break the entire pedalling system compared to their 1-piece alternative.
The Nautilus U618 cardio bike has a flywheel that weighs 30 lbs (13.6 kg), which gives it a solid amount of resistance. Specifically, you can choose from 25 different levels of resistance to challenge yourself. This is great variety and allows for more customization in the exercise routine. Then there are the pedals. These are weighted, so they will flip upwards every time. They also have straps to keep your feet in place.
The Nautilus U616 upright bike has the same amount of resistance levels as the U618 (25), but there are other differences between the two bikes. The flywheel is slightly lighter, only weighing 22 lbs (10 kg). The pedals aren’t weighted, but just simple non-slip ones with a strap.
The Nautilus U614 upright bike has the lightest of the flywheels, only weighing 13 lbs (5.9 kg). It also only has 20 levels of resistance, although this is still a great many more options than you’ll find with other bikes of this price range. Once again, the pedals here are fairly basic non-slip choices with straps.
U618, U616, and U614 Handlebars and Saddles
|Nautilus U618||With Built-in resistance controls on handles||Multi-grip||Tilt adjustable Handlebars||Horizontally & Vertically Adjustable||Yes|
|Nautilus U616||Without Built-in resistance controls on handles||Multi-grip||Tilt adjustable Handlebars||Horizontally & Vertically Adjustable||Yes|
|Nautilus U614||Without Built-in resistance controls on handles||Multi-grip||Tilt adjustable Handlebars||Vertically Adjustable||No|
The handlebars and saddle are two of the elements that you’d be interacting with most on these Nautilus bikes, so it makes sense that you’d want them to be quality as well. All of these handlebars do offer multiple grip positions. Both the Nautilus U616 and U614 have handlebars that cannot be adjusted. However, the Nautilus U618 does have handlebars that can be moved up and down to accommodate different body positions and grips.
The seats of these Nautilus bikes are probably one of their main weaknesses. On both the U618 and U616 upright bikes, they can be adjusted both vertically and horizontally. However, neither are particularly comfortable. They aren’t the worst seats you’ve ever sat on, but they just don’t seem to match the quality of the rest of the bike. The U614 cardio bike seat can only be adjusted vertically and shares the same comfortability issue.
Nautilus U618, U616, and U614 Monitors
|Nautilus U618||Backlit LCD Monitor||Yes||Time, speed, distance, RPM, resistance level, calories burned and heart rate||29||syncs with the Nautilus Trainer 2 App and other apps for fitness tracking|
|Nautilus U616||Backlit LCD Monitor||Yes||Time, speed, distance, RPM, resistance level, calories burned and heart rate||29||syncs with the Nautilus Trainer 2 App and other apps for fitness tracking|
|Nautilus U614||No-Backlit LCD Monitor||No||Time, speed, distance, RPM, resistance level, calories burned and heart rate||22||None|
One of the most important elements of modern exercise bikes is the monitor/console that it comes with. These can add extra dimensions to the workout through preset programs, app connections or even just statistic displays. Speaking of such displays, all of these Nautilus bikes can display their stats in both imperial and metric measurements.
The Nautilus U618 cardio bike has the most advanced monitor of the three, coming with dual backlit LCD screens that will show you a variety of statistics. These include your time, speed, distance, RPM, resistance level, calories burned and heart rate. You also have the option to use Bluetooth connections to connect with apps like the Explore the World™ app to ride through multiple real world locations on screen. There are 29 different preset programs that you can use to add variety into the workout. These include options like Rolling Hills, Cross-Training, Intervals and different workout profiles for different users.
The monitor of the Nautilus U616 upright bike is quite similar to the U618. It tracks the same types of statistics, has the same backlit dual LCD screen and the same number of 29 preset programs to add variation and challenge to the exercise routine. It also has Bluetooth connections to transfer statistics and use the Explore the World™ app.
The Nautilus U614 is not quite as lucky. It lacks a backlit screen and the same sort of Bluetooth connectivity that the other monitors have. However, it can still track the statistics like your time, speed, distance, RPM, resistance level, calories burned and heart rate. There are “only” 22 levels of workout programs with the U614, which is still a pretty darn good amount.
U618, U616, and U614 Prices and Warranties
|Nautilus U618||$700||10 Years Frame Warranty||3 Years on Electronics and Parts||1 Year on Labour|
|Nautilus U616||$490||10 Years Frame Warranty||3 Years on Electronics and Parts||1 Year on Labour|
|Nautilus U614||$300||10 Years Frame Warranty||2 Years on Electronics and Parts||90 Days on Labour|
We finally arrive at the point which might make or break the decisions of those looking at these Nautilus stationary bikes. After all, it is the price of the bike which will determine how much value the Nautilus bikes actually provide.
The Nautilus U618 stationary bike is, unsurprisingly, the most expensive of these bikes. It comes with a $700 price tag, which is on the higher end of this sort of “mid-range” for upright bikes. However, it does come with some excellent warranties to back up the quality of the bike. It comes with a 10 year warranty on the frame, 3 years on the electronic parts, 3 years on the rest of the parts and 1 year on the labour.
The Nautilus U616 upright bike costs a fair bit less, sitting at $480. Despite this, it has the same excellent warranty that you would find above. You get a 10 year warranty on the frame, 3 years on the electronic parts, 3 years on the rest of the parts and 1 year on the labor.
The cheapest of the lot is the Nautilus U614 cardio bike. It costs only around $300. This cheaper price does come with a bit of sacrifice in the form of the warranty. It still has 10 years on the frame, but it only has a 1 year warranty on the electronics, 2 years on the rest of the parts and only 90 days on the labor.
Nautilus U618 and U16 Connection with Zwift App
One thing that I love about the Nautilus U616 and U618 is their Bluetooth protocol and what it can do. Unlike Peloton, and many other brands that give Bluetooth only for headphone and heart rate monitor connection, Nautilus upright bikes use Bluetooth for transmitting workout data in addition to wireless heart rate monitors, and cycling headphones.
So, you can potentially connect the Nautilus exercise bikes (except for the U614) to the indoor cycling applications of your choice including Zwift and Peloton.
The only thing that you need for a Nautilus upright stationary bike to connect to Zwift or Peloton is the QZ application. It is basically a bridge between Nautilus and Zwift. It will collect the workout stats from the bike and then sends them to the Zwift app in a way that it’s readable for Zwift and other applications.
In order for us to connect the Nautilus upright bikes to the QZ application, we need to send a NRF screenshot to the QZ app developer (his information is the QZ application guide I have written). We only need one Nautilus U616 or U618 owner to make every Nautilus upright bike compatible with the QZ application.
Once the Nautilus upright bikes are added in the QZ application, every Nautilus bike owner can enjoy the Zwift, Peloton, Kinomap, and any other application that they prefer to use with their Nautilus stationary cardio bike.
Other Notable Parts of Nautilus Stationary Bikes
|Nautilus U618||Dual water bottle holders||With media shelf||Yes||With cooling fan||Dimensions = 41" L x 12" W x 23" H
Weight: 90 Lbs
|Nautilus U616||Single water bottle holder||With media shelf||Yes||With cooling fan||Dimensions = 41" L x 12" W x 23" H
Weight: 89 Lbs
|Nautilus U614||Single water bottle holder||With media shelf||No||Without cooling fan||Dimensions = 40" L x 12" W x 23" H
Weight: 85 Lbs
The penultimate part of our review shall be looking at all three bikes together and see what sort of little bonus additions that they’ve got. All three of Nautilus indoor bikes have transport wheels to help with movement around the home. They also all have media trays up near the monitor, although if you use these, it can block some of the monitor sights.
All 3 of the Nautilus bikes have water bottle holders, but there is something special about the Nautilus U618 in this regard: it has two water bottle holders. This should most certainly help with rehydration during the workout. You can also get speakers on the Nautilus U618 and U616 cardio bikes. The U614 does not have such a feature.
What We Think of Nautilus Exercise Bikes
Honestly, you’d be hard-pressed to go wrong with any of these Nautilus upright bikes. The Nautilus U618 is absolutely one of the best stationary exercise bikes on the market, regardless of cost. The fact that it doesn’t cost an absolute fortune only adds to that value.
You’ve got excellent monitors that are backlit and offer different workouts. The only potential weakness that Nautilus U616 and U614 bikes (not U618) have are their uncomfortable seats. But that can be easily fixed with a seat cover.
Otherwise, you have fantastic pieces of equipment that will serve anyone extremely well. And that wraps up our review of these Nautilus upright bikes. Hopefully, this should give you a good idea of what each bike offers and which one you might want to invest in for the future. Now get out there and get cycling!
Nautilus U618, and U616 Alternative Bike
Normally I don’t recommend an alternative to Nautilus upright exercise bikes especially to the Nautilus U618 model because they have good features and durable frames for an affordable price.
However, if you prefer to have an exercise bike with an HD touchscreen console, the Nautilus bikes are not for you. They do have nice backlit screens but at the end of the day they are just basic consoles. They are not touchscreen HD and there is no way to actually install Netflix, or Zwift on the console. So, you would need to use your own TV or tablet for watching your shows while on the bikes.
If you prefer to have an upright exercise bike with a touchscreen monitor, I would suggest the Nordictrack VU-29. It costs around $900 which is more expensive than what I paid for Nautilus but it does have a 14-inch HD monitor so you can jailbreak and use it for installing applications of your choice.