The Nautilus R614 Recumbent Bike is the lower priced version of the R616, but still offers a wide variety of workout programs and the option to sync your workout data.
We’ll also be reviewing the design features, console functions, assembly process, and preset programs, as well as how easy it is to sync to MyFitnessPal.
Featuring a low frame profile and walk-thru design for easier access, the Nautilus R614 is ideally suited to anyone looking for low impact, high intensity workouts.
The contoured seat and back combine to provide greater lumbar support and a more comfortable seated position than you can expect from upright bikes or most indoor cycles.
The bike also features a high-speed, high-inertia drive system with perimeter weighted flywheel for a smoother cycling motion. This is aided by the fact that the resistance system is Eddy Current Braking (ECB), which results in quieter workouts.
Stability and transport
You’ll also find a number of levelling feet attached to the underside of the base stabilizers and crossbeam.
With a few quick rotations you’re able to compensate for any slightly uneven flooring and create a stable base on which to perform your workouts.
Transport wheels built into the front stabilizer coupled with the carry handle at the back also make it much easier to move the bike to a new location if required.
Nautilus R614 – Features Summary
- Dual Track LCD display – two LCD windows display the status up to 13 workout details
- Charging USB port and data export to Nautilusconnet.com or myfitnesspal.com
- 22 Workout programs
- 20 levels of resistance
- 2 user profiles
- ECB Magnetic resistance
- Acoustic chambered speakers
- Heart rate monitor with touch sensors
- Water bottle holder
- Cooling fan
Display console functions
In terms of the button layout and functions, the console for the Nautilus R614 is almost identical to the higher priced R616, with two main exceptions.Firstly, you have fewer resistance levels, meaning the quick-select options along the sides stop at 20 instead of 25. Secondly, you might notice a lack of Bluetooth symbol on the R614 console. This is because workout data transfer is managed by a USB port instead, which is something we’ll be looking at in more detail.
By limiting the number of buttons on the console, this makes it much more intuitive to setup your workout, as well as make changes half way through.
However, the LCD screens aren’t backlit in the same way as the R616 model, which could make it more difficult to see the 13 different feedback metrics in low light conditions.
This includes your current resistance level, any goals you have set, current workout program profile, heart rate, and calories burned.
You also have the added benefits of integrated speakers for listening to your favourite motivational music, and a built-in cooling fan.
Tablet support for watching your favourite movies
The final console feature we wanted to mention was the table shelf, which can be used to support your tablet or smartphone while you workout.
Acting as a larger, full colour second screen, this makes it possible to watch your favourite TV shows or movies directly via the console.
The only disadvantage is that by doing so, you would actually lose visibility of the main display screen. Although the smaller single line LCD screen is still visible, this only allows you to track your calories burned, time, and distance.
Our personal preference would be to have heart rate replace calories burned, as it’s a metric that often needs closer monitoring, particularly if you have a specific fitness goal, such as weight loss.
This is something that ProForm managed to work around with their 440 ES modelby placing the tablet shelf at the very top of the console. This creates a situation similar to the way a personal viewing screen can be attached to the Precor AMT.
But for under $500 you’re going to struggle to find a bike that doesn’t run into this problem, with the later R616 model, and the Schwinn 270 and 230 bikes designed in a similar way.
Preset workout programs and user profiles
If accurate workout feedback for your heart rate and calories burned is important to you, you’re going to need a bike with user profiles.
That’s because the information you enter can then be used in the same calculations scientific studies have found to be most accurate.
As well as your age and weight, both user profiles also allow you to enter your weight, name, gender, and preferred workout values, for a more personalized fitness experience.
- Profile programsThe 22 workout programs have been grouped into three main categories; Fun Rides, Mountains, and Challenges.Once you open one of the categories, you’ll be given a choice of three programs with similar profiles, making them well suited to a wide range of fitness levels.
- Goal setting programsIn addition to the profile programs that automate changes in resistance, you also have a series of goal setting programs, which offer a little more freedom.After setting a goal for distance, time, or calories burned, you’re then free to cycle at a speed and resistance level that suits you, with no automated adjustments.
- Heart rate control (HRC) programsThis is where the user profile information proves so useful.By providing your age, the console is able to calculate your maximum heart rate. You can then choose a percentage of this maximum to use as a target for your workouts, with four ranges available: 50-60%, 60-70%, 70-80%, and 80-90%.Heart rate touch sensors have been built into the seat handles to transmit your pulse reading to the console, but you can also wear a telemetry chest strap.
- Fitness testThe final program to mention isn’t strictly a workout, but a fitness test. This compares your Watts power output to your heart rate, taking into account your age and weight values from the current user profile.You’re then assigned a fitness score, which can be used as a way of measuring changes in your physical fitness level.
Tracking your progress with NautilusConnect
Over the past few years one of the emerging trends in fitness equipment is the ability to track your performance online.
With the R614 recumbent bike, this comes in the form of a USB port built into the console, which can be used to sync your workout results to NautilusConnect or MyFitnessPal.
With the upgraded R616 model you’re actually able to connect and sync via a Bluetooth connection and the Nautilus app.
For the R614 this is more of a manual process, which requires you to insert a USB stick into the console, save your data, then upload the results to www.nautilusconnect.com.
From there, you’re able to view a dashboard that provides you with a quick summary of your workouts for that day, week, month, or even year.
NautilusConnect allows you to upload and analyze your workout data, which can also be synced to
your MyFitnessPal profile
Data shown on the main chart can be filtered to display your distance, calories, time, average heart rate, or average speed. Lap time is also an option for equipment that displays this feedback on the Dual Track™ Display.
The dashboard also includes an overview of your previous workout performance.
At the moment NautilusConnect is purely a system for tracking workout performance, and doesn’t allow you to log nutrition information.
Fortunately this is something that MyFitnessPal provides, and you can quickly sync your workout data directly from NautilusConnect to your MyFitnessPal profile.
Ease of assembly / Maintenance required
It may seem like an unusual area for a review to focus on, but the quality of assembly instructions and information provided in the user manual are two areas that often receive the most negative feedback in customer reviews.Fortunately Nautilus always seems to produce very high quality owner’s manuals, and in the case of the R614, one that actually includes two complete parts diagrams.
The first is purely to give you an idea of what to expect from the assembly, while the second provides a slightly more detailed list of the parts in case you need to request replacements.
All the tools you need are included in the box.
The bulk of the frame has already been pre-assembled, but with a total product weight of 80 lbs, it can still be useful to have some assistance with attaching the base stabilizers.
Most of the assembly is straightforward, but the connecting of the cables through the console mast is a step that’s likely to take a little longer.
The entire process shouldn’t take much more than 45 minutes, with each step including clear diagrams on how the parts fit together and the tools you’ll need.
In our recent guide to recumbent bikes, we highlighted the Nautilus R616 as one of the top models under $600.
If your budget can’t quite stretch to the top-of-the-line model, the R614 makes an excellent alternative, with a similar number of workout programs and resistance levels.
The level of warranty coverage and weight capacity are also identical, so you’re not missing out on anything there.
Although we feel the R614 is one of the top bikes in its price range, we also wanted to take into account other people’s experiences, to provide you with a more balanced review.
That’s why we read through the feedback left on ecommerce sites such as Amazon, then compiled the following lists of pros and cons.
- Quiet cycling motion
- Contoured seat and back support create a more comfortable workout
- Workout data transfer helps you keep track of your progress
- Wide range of seat settings to suit user heights to 6ft+
- Multiple user profiles available, making it ideal for family environments
- Well packaged to prevent any damage prior to delivery
- Links to MyFitnessPal
- Sturdy frame design
- Quick and easy to assemble
- Low impact nature of the exercise makes it ideal for anyone with reduced mobility or recovering from injury
- Cooling fan isn’t as powerful as some people expected
- Seat cushioning isn’t as thick as on bikes like the Sole R92
- Floating seat rail has a maximum setting that’s best suited to anyone under 6ft 4 ins. Any taller and you may need to start considering a commercial style bike.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame: 10 years
- Parts: 2 years
- Electronics: 1 year
- Labor: 90 days