Nautilus U616 Upright Bike
Check Discounted Price
|29||Frame: 10 years
Parts: 2 years
Electronics: 1 year
Labor: 90 days
Although the Nautilus U616 is already a year old, it still is one if the best upright exercise bikes out there that comes for an acceptable price, and a bike with a really impressive array of features. Compared to the lighter model, the Nautilus U614, this bike offers extra resistance levels, extra workout programs, and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing an easy sync of your workout data with various online fitness environments. It’s also pretty similar in specs with the Schwinn 170 model. However, the Schwinn model actually costs approx. $100 less, that’s why it still is our top recommendation so far, but it does not feature Bluetooth connectivity as the Nautilus U616 bike.
Since this Nautilus model is quite an inclusive cycle, there’s a lot to be said about each and every feature that it incorporates. Therefore, in this post we’ll try to offer as much information as possible about it, in order to help you decide whether this is the right exercise bike for you or not.
Technical Details and Specifications
- Assembled dimensions: 41.8L x 21.6W x 57.6H inches (104L x 55W x 146H cm)
- Assembled weight: 68.6 lbs (31 kg)
- Supported weight: 300 lbs (136 kg)
- Handlebar: 2-way adjustable, with pulse sensors
- Seat: 4-way adjustable
- Pedals: Weighted, with straps
- Resistance: Eddy current, 25 levels
- Performance monitor: 29 workout programs
- Amenities: Speakers, fan, media tray, bottle holder,
- Warranty: Frame 10 years / Parts 2 years / Electronics 1 year / Labor 90 days
The Nautilus U616 features an eddy current brake system. It does not have a self-power system such as the Sole LCB, for example, and this means it requires to be connected to a power circuit for the brake to become functional. Nonetheless, you can use the bike without any power, but in this case you will only benefit from the level 1 of resistance. An AC power adapter UL listed, rated 120V 60Hz Input, 9VDC, 1500 mA Outplut, class 2, is supplied with the machine. It plugs into the body of the bike at the front part, down, close to the base. Neither the bike, nor the console feature an On/Off switch.
The resistance adjustments are done exclusively from the console. There isn’t any manual way to adjust resistance. Since it’s an eddy current brake bike, the resistance involves a magnetic pad, situated behind the flywheel. By adjusting the resistance, a servo motor takes the command and moves the resistance pad closer or farther in relation to the flywheel. The components involved with the bike’s resistance do not come in contact, thus their wear and tear is almost inexistent, pedaling is smooth and quiet.
The bike offers 25 levels of resistance. The lower levels are pretty light, adequate for users who experience joint problems, or users who need to follow a rehab training regimen. Conversely, the highest resistance settings offer quite a burn, simulating a pretty steep climb.
Most exercise bikes with an eddy or magnetic resistance system feature a belt drive system, rather than a chain. This Nautilus model does not make an exception. It features a heavy-duty v-belt which makes the connection between the bike’s pulley and the flywheel. The pulley is actually bigger in diameter than the flywheel, for this bike. The RPM and speed sensors connect to it. The flywheel is not an extremely heavy one, but it is however perimeter weighted, which considerably adds to the smoothness of the pedaling motion.
In general, upright bikes aren’t made for stand-up climb workout routines as spin bikes. However, the U616 features two extremely sturdy crank arms and is actually able to support a 300 lbs (136 kg) user in a stand-up exercising routine. The pedals are plastic-covered, balanced, and with an ergonomic design. They also feature straps with 8 levels of adjustment. These pedals are not equipped with cleats for spin shoes. However they do have standard threads, and you should easily find replacements.
In case you’re wondering, the pulley does not continue to spin once you stop pedaling. Also, backwards pedaling is possible.
The tubing within the bike’s frame is made of steel, coated with corrosion resistant paint. The bases are triangular, increasing the machine’s stability. They’re both finished with plastic caps. The rear base features two sizeable adjustable stabilizers, while the front base only has two resting small pads. The front base also features two caster wheels, to help with the relocation of the fully assembled machine. However, the assembled bike is not that heavy, weighing only 68 lbs (31 kg), not being extremely difficult to lift.
In terms of usage space, this exercise cycle doesn’t take that much. With a 41.8″L x 21.6″W (104 x 55 cm) footprint, it’s safe to say that it’s not exactly a huge machine, and can fit well even in a smaller room. Overall, just like the Nautilus U614, the U616 model features elegant aesthetics. It looks quite a bit different than many other upright bikes, and most definitely does not have a generic design and feel.
The seat really excels in ergonomics. It has a contoured design, incorporates foam cushioning, and it’s much wider than your average spin bike seat. It’s a firm seat, perfectly designed to support any upright workout, without causing too much stress on buttocks or inner thighs.
The seat is 4-way adjustable: back, forth, up and down. Its post is pretty long, with more than 10 adjustment holes. Thus, the bike can easily accommodate users between 5′ and 6’6″ (152 – 198 cm). Taller users can also use this bike comfortably, however they may not benefit from a complete leg extension.
One of the strengths of this bike is actually its handlebar. Most upright bikes, even some of the most expensive, commercial models, offer a fixed handlebar. The U616 features an angle-adjustable handlebar, which considerably increases the array of possible workout postures. Since it can be leaned forward close to a horizontal setting, it’s also equipped with elbow rests in order to support a sprint cycling posture. It does not however, offer vertical adjustment.
The handlebar is covered with rubber foam material to supply a comfortable and firm grip, without causing any damage to the hands. It also incorporates stainless steel pulse sensors.
Console and amenities
Apart from the performance monitor, the console supplied with the Nautilus U616 integrates quite a few other amenities. To begin with, the lower part of the console incorporates a 3-speed fan, great to have when exercising in an overly heated room. The fan is flanked by two acoustic chambered speakers, this sound system being compatible with most MP3 players, smartphones and tablets. These speakers do offer quite a bit more volume and base than the average speakers of a phone or tablet. There are no volume or sound option adjusting digits on the console though, volume adjustment is done through your device. Although this may not be exactly the most advanced sound system out there, it still gives you the possibility to keep your music close, without using earbuds which may cause discomfort during a workout.
The top part of the console integrates a tablet tray, wide enough to support an iPad or just about any tablet in landscape position.
The console features two blue backlit LCD displays for your fitness data. It can track just about all the values a user would expect from the console of an advanced bike, including time, speed, distance, RPM, heart rate and calories burned. The current resistance level is also indicated. A goal tracking function is also available for time, calories and distance. The goal display indicates the currently selected goal, current value to achieve the goal and the percent completed towards the goal.
There are 29 workout programs on the console, including 1 Manual, 12 Profile, 2 Fitness Test, 1 Recovery Test, 4 Custom and 9 Heart Rate. The Manual mode is the “just ride” program, meant for users who want to adjust resistance freely as they ride. The Profile programs actually include 3 categories (Challenges, Fun Rides, and Mountains) with 4 programs each. With these programs, the resistance will adjust automatically. The 4 Custom programs give you the possibility to create your own track, and also insert your data. Evidently the HR programs are focused on cardio training and monitoring, while the Fitness Test programs is designed to measure and improve your fitness level.
One of the best aspects regarding the console of this fitness bike is that it has Bluetooth connectivity, allowing it to sync your workout data with Nautilus Connect or MyFitnessPal. These fitness environments offer a much better workout management, the possibility to download various workout programs, manage calories, and overall, they help with continuously improving or maintaining your current fitness level. There’s also a USB port which can be used to save, import or export data. This USB port also acts as a charging port for compatible devices.
The console is quite easy and straightforward to use. Resistance can be adjusted from level to level via the arrow keys, but there also are quick-adjustment keys for the 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24 resistance settings. There’s a digit for accessing the preloaded programs, one for the user profiles and one for goal tracking. A Pause/End button allows for short breaks between sessions. There isn’t any On/Off switch, the console unit turns on as you begin pedaling or pressing any key, and will automatically shut down 5 minutes after you have stopped your activity on the bike.
Last but not least, the console is telemetry enabled. In other words, it can track pulse via a heart rate chest strap transmitter. A chest strap is not supplied with the bike though.
Assembly and Maintenance
The Nautilus U616 upright bike it fairly easy to assemble. Its internal components come readily assembled and enclosed by the lateral and top shrouds. You only need to attach the console mast, the seat post, seat, pedals, bases, handlebar and console, and of course, connect the bike’s cables. Owner’s manual and tools for the assembly are supplied with the bike.
Since it’s an eddy current bike, you don’t have to worry much about internal maintenance. Basically, the only required maintenance for this bike is a periodical check and re-tightening of the bolts, and keeping dust and perspiration off of it.
- Solid construction, supporting even stand up pedaling workout routines;
- Elegant, motivating design;
- Superior microadjustability;
- Oversized, cushioned seat;
- Elbow rests;
- Smooth and quiet drive;
- 25 levels of resistance;
- 29 workout apps;
- Goal tracking;
- Bluetooth connectivity, can sync your workout data automatically on a Bluetooth device, on MyFitnessPal and Nautilus Connect;
- Grip pulse sensors;
- Telemetry enabled console;
- Several amenities, such as fan, sound system, media tray, USB charging port, bottle holder;
- Easy to assemble;
- Basically maintenance free;
- Excellent warranty pack;
- Excellent price/quality ratio.
- Chest strap transmitter not included;
- Tablet covers the bigger display of the console when placed on tablet holder;
- If you pause it during your workout, pause can last only 5 min. After 5 min. the bike will shut down anyway.
Although it doesn’t have the user capacity of a commercial grade bike, the Nautilus U616 offers pretty much everything else that a gym-rated bike can offer. In fact, there are commercial upright bikes that do not offer this amount of workout apps, and do not feature wireless online connectivity. It’s an excellent bike for light, medium and even high-intensity workouts. It’s great for muscle toning, stamina building, superior cardio and weight loss. And considering that it costs only about 35% of the price of your average gym upright bike, it’s safe to say that it’s one of the best deals you can find.