From the new Nautilus Performance Series, the Nautilus R618 Recumbent Bike is a step-up from the popular Nautilus R616 and is designed for higher performance with improved ergonomics for a more comfortable workout.
The Nautilus R618 Recumbent Exercise Bike utilizes an effective 30 lb flywheel and ECB resistance system which combine to give smooth and consistent momentum throughout the ride. Furthermore, there are 25 resistance levels to keep you challenged and 29 programs to keep your workouts varied including intervals, challenges, weight management, heart-rate, and custom programs.
The Nautilus R618 comes with a SightLine tilting console. Specifically, it allows different users to get the best viewing angle of the console’s dual STN blue backlit LCD screens. The screens display motivating workout stats including time, speed, distance, calories and heart-rate. Also, it is compatible with the Nautilus Trainer 2 App and RideSocial via Bluetooth connectivity.
Product: Nautilus R618 Recumbent Bike
Warranty: Frame 15 years / Parts 3 years / Electronics 3 year / Labor 1 year
My rating: 7.25/10
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The Nautilus R618 recumbent bike features a frame slightly more substantial than the previous R616 model. It’s a frame made of steel tubing, weighing 107.1 lbs (48.6 kg). The weight contributes to the overall stability of the bike. And on top of that, both base tubes feature adjustable, rubberized levelers, which give you the possibility to correctly stabilize the bike, even if the floor has irregularities.
The bike’s frame has a step-through design, a feature that can be quite a plus for users with disabilities. You can easily mount the seat, or get up to adjust it, and dismount without any difficulties.
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 the seat mounts on is made of aluminum 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.
One last aspect to mention here regards the bike’s footprint. Like most recumbent exercise bikes, the Nautilus R618 is relatively large. It takes 67.3″L x 26.4″W (171 x 67 cm) of floor space, and may not be the best choice regarding 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.
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, 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, to prevent your back from overheating. Also, it promotes healthy blood circulation. It 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 connected 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. 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. It requires to be connected to a power source, and an AC power adapter is supplied with it.
Upon setting resistance level on the control unit, the servo motor will change the position of the magnetic brake element about the flywheel, generating more or less resistance.
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 severe, 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 reasonably heavy flywheel, weighing 30 lbs (13.6 kg). The wheel is perimeter weighted and delivers 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.
The console unit features two LCDs, with blue LED backlight and large digits for easy reading. Specifically, the larger display indicates the workout program profiles, the selected goal and your progress towards it, the name of the current workout program, the resistance level is chosen, and the heart rate interval. The smaller display indicates time, speed, distance, RPM, resistance level, calories burned and heart rate.
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 bike.
There are four 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 four levels of difficulty.
Regarding amenities, the console integrates a media tray, a sound system, and a cooling fan. The audio system is compatible with most MP3 players, smartphones, and tablets, consisting of two speakers at the lowest corners of the console. The workout fan, although it is not too overpowering, it does provide some cooling for your workout, and you can change its angle by tilting the console.
This feature allows you to sync the bike’s console with your smartphone, tablet or laptop 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. For this purpose, you can create cycling events, ride alongside your friends and benefit from many other interactive and fun features through it.
Assembly and Maintenance
As we’ve mentioned above, the Nautilus R618 recumbent exercise bike is relatively 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. For example, its drive and resistance elements come already assembled.
Thus, the assembly requires you to connect the base tubes to the mainframe, 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 an extended period.
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, four 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
- 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 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, four user profiles, goal setting functions;
- Bluetooth connectivity, and compatibility with the Nautilus Trainer app, NautilusConnect, and MyFitnessPal;
- RideSocial compatible;
- A 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.
- A tablet placed on the media holder will cover the top display;
- The cooling fan is not too overpowering.
In brief, the Nautilus R618 is a recumbent exercise bike featuring a commercial grade construction and motor-assisted magnetic resistance system, with 25 levels. Accordingly, it excels in comfort factors and micro-adjustability.
Furthermore, it has a multi-function console with 29 workout programs, four user profiles, Bluetooth connectivity. Also, you are able to sync a smart device with the RideSocial app, NautilussConnect, or the MyFitnessPal apps.
Therefore, 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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