The Nautilus U616 is a great upright exercise bike for seniors

Nautilus U616 Review

by Cole Matthews - Last Updated June 3, 2017

The Nautilus brand has forged a reputation based on quality and innovation in the fitness industry since the early 1970’s.  That reputation is well deserved when it comes to their exercise bike range. The Nautilus U616 is their top of the line model which provides Bluetooth Connectivity, 29 workout programs and a large range of customization features.

The U616 is a very robust bike that provides you with a comfortable ride, a huge range of workout options and lots of resistance options. However it does have limited display options. Overall, we think that this is a great bike that comes in at a good price point.

Let’s dig a little deeper to discover if the Nautilus U616 is the right exercise bike for you.

Customer Reviews

Reviewers on SmartReview.com gave the Nautilus U616 an average of 4.5 stars from 111 reviews.

Walmart reviewers also gave it a 4.5 average rating off 14 reviews.

Dicks Sporting Goods gave the U616 n average rating to 4.6 stars from 5 reviews.

Nautilus U616 Pros

  • Very sturdy
  • Ergonomic handle bars
  • 29 programs
  • 25 resistance levels

Nautilus U616 Cons

  • Limited resistance options

Nautilus U616 Benefits

Very Solid Unit

The U616 comes with a pair of integrated levelers that provide you with a level base from which to exercise, regardless of what surface you put it on. The frame is made from thick tubular steel and put together with solid hardware. It also features large crossbar tubing .

Comfortable

The U616 gives you a very comfortable riding position. The handle bars are ergonomically designed to allow you to assume an ideal upper body position when riding. While the seat is not the most comfortable we’ve seen, the bike provides a removable seat post, allowing you to replace it with your own customizes seat. Oversized deluxe pedals provide for comfortable and secure foot placement.

A Lot of Training Options

The U616 provides you with a huge 29 different workout programs. This makes it ideal for use by all family members. It also gives you plenty of opportunity to vary your workouts so that you don’t become bored.  There are 12 very interesting workout profiles, including mountain rides, challenge workouts and fun rides. These programs have all been structured by top fitness professionals. You also get 2 fitness tests, a recovery test and 4 custom profiles.

String Drive System

The Nautilus U616 provides you with a perimeter weighted flywheel and belt system that is fully enclosed to protect your children and pets as you re working out. This delivers a very smooth, natural movement patter as you re cycling. You will notice that, at the top resistance levels, their will be some pulsing that slows down the cycle motion. This will require that you focus more at the higher speeds in order to maintain  360 degree revolutionary pedal cycle.

Plenty of Resistance

The Nautilus U616 gives you 25 levels of eddy current resistance. The transition between resistance levels is smooth and consistent, in contrast to some competing bikes where you get a jerky transition. There are plenty of options here to allow you to ramp up your intensity level as you get fitter and stronger.

Great Console

The console of the U616 is a stand-out feature. It provides you with two backlit screens that allow you to get an easy view of your training diagnostics from every angle. The console programs feature heart rate profiles that allow you to stay within the ideal training zone. The telemetry enabled heart rate receiver and ergonomically placed grip sensors help to ensure that you are getting maximum results from your workout. The console is set up to work with a heart rate chest strap monitor. However, you will have to purchase the chest strap separately.

The dual track monitoring system allows you to watch your favorite shows while still keeping track of time, distance and calories burned.

The U616 console also provides you with Bluetooth connectivity. This opens up a whole new world of training possibilities. It allows you to transfer your training data to the Nautilus ConnecTM training app, so that you can record and analyze your diagnostics later. You are also able to tap into the MyFitnessPal App, so that you can monitor your nutritional intake.

Oversized Pedals

The pedals on the U616 are larger than standard and come with plastic straps to allow you to securely lick in your foot positioning. Pedals re contoured to work very well with athletic shoes. This will prevent the irritating foot slippage which is  problem for many competing bikes on the market.

At first, you may find that the pedal straps are a little stiff and difficult to use. This system makes use of a hole and tab insert. After the first few uses it will loosen up and began much easier to use.

 

Pedals are connected to an impressive 3 piece crank system. This provides you with  very robust process which works extremely smoothly with the varying resistance levels.

 

Nautilus U616 Drawbacks

Hard Seat

Even though the U616 does provide you with an overall good level of comfort, the seat is not that comfortable. If you plan to be on the bike for any length of time, you will probably notice the hardness of the seat. However, you can remove the entire seat post, which allows you to replace the seat with a custom one of your choice.

Proximity to Console

Even though the handles of the U616 are anatomically designed for good body placement, the angle of the handles places your face very close to the console when you are leaning into the pedals for a hard ride. This may put you in an uncomfortable position even though it is ideal for performance.

Huge Sound

The U616 comes complete with a pair of acoustic chambered speakers. This delivers a premium quality of sound to keep you motivated through your sweat session. You are also able to plug in your iPod to enjoy your favorite tunes.

The Competition

There are other a few other name brands in this price range that offer bikes of comparable quality to the Nautilus U616. Our favorite among them is the Schwinn 170, which pretty much matches the U616 feature for feature. The big difference is that the Schwinn 170 provides you with a whole lot more when it comes to training data display. The display of the Schwinn 170 provides you a readout of your elapsed time, heart rate, resistance, ROM, Speed, calories, distance and time.

On the negative side, the Schwinn 170 doesn’t have any provision for you to plug in your iPod, wheres the Nautilus U616 does. The Nautilus bike also has better quality speakers, so if music is a big thing to you and you’re not too concerned about tracking every training diagnostic, you’re probably better off sticking with Nautilus.

Bottom Line

The Nautilus U616  brings together an ideal blend of technology, performance and features to provide you with a consistently high quality cardio workout in the comfort of your own home.  It provides you with a huge range of workout options and resistance levels to suit every fitness level and age group. It also comes with a good price tag, allowing you get a quality bike from a reputable manufacturer at a solid price.

A couple of things we weren’t impressed about were the limited diagnostic readouts on the console and the hardness of the seat.

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