Nautilus R618 Recumbent Exercise Bike

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Nautilus R618

Check Discounted Price
325 lbsECB,
25 levels
Frame: 15 years
Parts: 3 years
Electronics: 3 years
Labor: 1 year

The Nautilus R618 recumbent exercise bike offers quite a few features over the older R616 model. This is actually the new 2018 model, the Nautilus part number 100650. It has a reclining backrest, a feature that not many recumbent bikes have and handlebars with resistance controls. Its seat integrates gel cushioning, while the console was improved and given a more user-friendly interface. Also, as opposed to the older version, the 100494, this one is compatible with the Nautilus Trainer 2 App and RideSocial. It’s definitely a recumbent bike with a commercial construction, made to last, this being one of the reasons it comes with a pretty consistent warranty.

Technical Details and Specifications

  • Assembled dimensions: 67.3L x 26.4W x 48.8H inches (171L x 67W x 124H cm)
  • Assembled weight: 89.5 lbs (40.6 kg)
  • Flywheel weight: 30 lbs (13.6)
  • Supported weight: 325 lbs (147.4 kg)
  • Resistance: Eddy current, 25 levels
  • Control unit: 29 programs, 4 user profiles, Bluetooth connectivity
  • Amenities: Sound system, cooling fan, media tray, USB port, bottle holder
  • Warranty: Frame 15 years / Parts 3 years / Electronics 3 year / Labor 1 year

Frame construction

The Nautilus R618 recumbent bike features a frame slightly heavier than the previous R616 model. Needless to say, it’s a frame made of steel tubing, weighing 107.1 lbs (48.6 kg). Although this weight may be a bit troublesome when assembling the bike, its relocation is done easily, as its front base integrates two wheels for transport, while the rear base has a handle to easily lift it and lean it on its wheels. This way, you will basically handle less than the bike’s total weight when you need to relocate it. On the other hand, this weight considerably improve its overall stability. And on top of that, both base tubes feature adjustable, rubberized levelers, which give you the possibility to perfectly stabilize the bike, even if the floor has irregularities. Also, you don’t have to place the bike on a rubber mat, but the use of one is recommended, though.

The bike’s frame has a step-through design, a feature that can be quite a plus for users with disabilities. You can easily take position on the seat, or get up to adjust it.

All the steel parts in the frame construction are coated with corrosion resistant industrial powder, black being the only one available for this version. The rail of the seat is made of aluminum though and has its natural finish. The bike’s construction integrates several PVC parts as well, but these only fulfill a cosmetic and protective role. Among them, we can count the covers of the seat base, the covers of the drive system, the base caps, the seat rail caps and the bottle holder. The PVC parts are black and dark gray in color.

One last aspect to mention here regards the bike’s footprint. Like most recumbent exercise bikes, the Nautilus R618 is fairly large. It takes 67.3″L x 26.4″W (171 x 67 cm) of floor space, and may not be the best choice in terms of a fitness machine for a small apartment. On top of that, it requires at least two feet of clearance on each side and at the rear, for safe operation. Nautilus recommends a usage area of 115″ x 74″ (2.9 x 1.9 m) for this exercise bike.

Seat & handlebars

The Nautilus R618 recumbent bike features a seat that excels in ergonomics. To begin with, it integrates a thick layer of gel cushioning and has a contoured surface, in order to adapt perfectly to your body and deliver superior comfort. In case you’re wondering, the seat is approx. 16″ (41 cm) wide.

The backrest is made of heavy-duty PVC material, featuring a vented design, in order to prevent your back from overheating during a more intense workout routine and to promote a healthy blood circulation. As opposed to other recumbent exercise bikes in this feature range, such as the SOLE LCR for example, the backrest of this Nautilus exercise bike is angle-adjustable, offering several adjustment positions. Its position is controlled by the lever on the right side under the seat.

Nonetheless, the whole seat assembly is adjustable as well. It’s mounted on an aluminum rail, offering a long adjustment span. Therefore, the bike can accommodate users of all sizes, even tall users, over 6’7″ (201 cm). It also has an impressive user weight capacity, being able to support persons up to 325 lbs (147.4 kg).

When it comes to handlebars, this Nautilus exercise bike is equipped with two sets, one attached to the seat assembly, and one attached to the console mast. The handlebars attached to the seat integrate pulse sensors and resistance controls. They cannot be adjusted independently from the seat, but they do move with the seat assembly along its adjustment rail. In case you’re wondering, the distance between them is approx. 23″ (58 cm). Both sets of handlebars feature rubberized grips for optimal comfort.

Resistance and drive

The Nautilus R618 recumbent exercise bike features a motor-assisted magnetic resistance system or differently put, an eddy current brake. It integrates a small servo motor and a magnetic resistance pad. The resistance can only be adjusted from the control unit, and as you select a resistance level from it, the servo motor will change the position of the magnetic brake element in relation to the flywheel, generating more or less resistance.

In case you’re wondering, this recumbent bike does not have a self-generating power system, such as the Body-Solid B5R, for example. It requires to be connected to a power source, and an AC power adapter is supplied with it. The adapter is UL listed, Rated 100V-240V 50/60Hz Input, 9VDC, 1500mA Output. Class 2.

This Nautilus exercise bike makes available 25 distinctive levels of resistance. The lower settings are pretty light, suitable for elderly users, or users who require recovery training. On the other hand, the 23-25 resistance settings are quite tough, simulating a steep climb, offering quite a challenge for anyone who wants a consistent cardio training.

Like most other exercise bikes with a magnetic resistance system, the Nautilus R618 features a belt drive, and a fairly heavy flywheel, weighing 30 lbs (13.6 kg). The flywheel is perimeter weighted and delivers a smooth motion, a steady feel and a consistent momentum.

The cranks are made of solid steel, finished with weighted, self-leveling pedals. Each pedal has an adjustable strap to enhance foot stability.

Control unit

The console supplied with the Nautilus R618 is quite similar to the one on the Nautilus E618 elliptical trainer. The only difference between the two units is given by the lack of incline keys. Evidently, since it’s an exercise bike, it does not have an incline feature like an elliptical or a treadmill.

The console unit features two LCD displays, with blue LED backlight and large digits for easy reading. The top larger one displays the workout program profiles, the selected goal and your progress towards it, the name of the current workout program, the selected resistance level, and the heart rate interval. The smaller display indicates time, speed, distance, RPM, resistance level, calories burned and heart rate. The console offers the possibility to track distance in both km and mile, and the tracking of speed in MPH and km/h. Heart rate can be monitored via the sensors in the fixed handlebars of the machine, but the console is also telemetry enabled; this means it’s compatible with wireless chest strap HR transmitters, and one HR chest strap is included with the elliptical.

There are 4 user profiles available, each profile recording the workout results to be reviewed later. To set up a user profile, you will have to input personal data such as weight, height, age, gender, and name. Therefore, the unit can estimate your calorie burning more accurately.

There are 12 pre-set workout programs built-in the console, including Rolling Hills, Ride in the Park, Easy Tour, Stream Crossing, Pike’s Peak, Mount Hood, Pyramids, Summit Pass, Uphill Finish, Cross-Training, Intervals, and Stairs. It gives you the possibility to set up goals for time, distance, and calories. There’s also a Fitness Program, a Recovery Program, and an HR control program with 4 levels of difficulty.

Of course, one of the features that tell this exercise bike apart from other, cheaper models, is its Bluetooth connectivity. This feature allows you to sync the bike’s console with your smartphone, tablet or laptop in order to access and use the Nautilus Trainer 2 online app. Also, via a Bluetooth connection, you can directly transfer your workout data into your NautilusConnect or MyFitnessPal account. But even if you won’t use the Bluetooth connection, you can still transfer your workout data into your online fitness accounts via USB. The console unit has a USB port for this, which will also charge your device.

This exercise bike is also compatible with RideSocial. This is an online application which allows you to view and ride on a virtual trail on your smart TV, tablet or phone, based on a GoogleMaps trail. You can create riding events, ride alongside your friends and benefit from many other interactive and fun features through it.

In terms of amenities, the console integrates a media tray, a sound system, and a cooling fan. The sound system is compatible with most MP3 players, smartphones, and tablets, consisting of two speakers at the lowest corners of the console. The media tray is placed right under the large LCD display. The workout fan, although it is not too powerful, it does provide some cooling for your workout, and you can actually change its angle by tilting the console.

Assembly and Maintenance

As we’ve mentioned above, the Nautilus R618 recumbent exercise bike is fairly heavy, and due to this fact, it is recommended to be assembled by two persons. The bike’s assembly is far from being complicated, though. Its drive and resistance elements come already assembled. Thus, the assembly requires you to connect the base tubes to the main frame, the recumbent handlebars, the backrest, the seat and its adjustment handles, the console mast, the console and the pedals. This may take up to two hours, but the included manual provides detailed assembly steps, so anyone should be able to do it. Also, the tools required for assembly are included.

For maintenance, it is recommended to periodically inspect the bike for loose bolts and parts, and retighten them if necessary. Also, keep the bike dust and moisture free. The internal parts come pre-lubricated from the factory and shouldn’t require any further lubrication for a long period of time.

The Pros

  • Sturdy frame, commercial quality construction, able to accommodate users up to 325 lbs;
  • Adjustable foot stabilizers and transport wheels;
  • Large seat with a thick layer of gel cushioning for maximum comfort;
  • Reclining backrest with a vented design to prevent overheating and promote a healthy blood circulation;
  • Long adjustment span for the seat, the bike being able to accommodate users up to 6’7″ or even taller;
  • Recumbent handlebars with pulse sensors and resistance controls;
  • Weighted pedals with straps and standard threads (easy to find replacements for them, if needed);
  • 25 levels of resistance;
  • 29 workout programs, 4 user profiles, goal setting functions;
  • Bluetooth connectivity, and compatibility with the Nautilus Trainer app, NautilusConnect, and MyFitnessPal;
  • RideSocial compatible;
  • USB port for manual workout data transfer, which also acts as a charging port for your smartphone or tablet;
  • The console displays feature LED backlight, enhancing readability;
  • Angle-adjustable console;
  • Sound system included;
  • Cooling fan included;
  • Tablet tray included;
  • Bottle holder included;
  • Wireless HR chest strap included;
  • Smooth and quiet operation;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • Little maintenance required;
  • Excellent warranty.

The Cons

  • A tablet placed on the media holder will cover the top display;
  • The cooling fan is not too powerful.

Final Conclusions

The Nautilus R618 is a recumbent exercise bike featuring a commercial grade construction and motor-assisted magnetic resistance system, with 25 levels. It excels in comfort factors and micro-adjustability. It’s equipped with a multi-function console with 29 workout programs, 4 user profiles, Bluetooth connectivity, also being compatible with the RideSocial app, NautilussConnect and MyFitnessPal. It’s an excellent fitness machine for light to medium cardio training, interval training, recovery training and weight loss. And finally, although it’s not one of the most affordable models, it’s still a few $100s cheaper than most commercial bikes, therefore, its features an excellent price/value ratio.

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