The Nautilus U616 Upright Bike - What You Need to Know

Nautilus Upright Bike

The very first strength machine I ever used happened to be a Nautilus machine - It sat in the scary corner of the gym and looked like the love child of Alien and Ironman. It's amazing that Nautilus is still around these days, though their machines look much different - Sleek, state-of-the-art and some of the highest quality exercise machines you can buy.

I love their treadmill and the Treadclimber, both of which are awesome.

So, what about their stationary bikes? I've got the scoop.

The Skinny on the Nautilus U616

First, the U616 is small. Not teensy weensy, but definitely takes up much less space than you think a stationary bike would. In fact, it has such a small footprint, it easily fit in my exercise room/guest room/place where I throw random things I don't know what to do with.

The Specs

For such a small package, the U616 has tons of features, including:

  • 29 different programs - 9 are based on profile, 8 are based on heart rate control, you can create 2 custom programs, there are 2 fitness tests and then there's the quick start.
  • Tracking capabilities - You can view and track time, calories, distance and you can even track goals via USB by connecting it with the Nautilus Connect website or MyFitnessPal. You can also download the Nautilus Trainer app and view your progress on your smartphone.
  • There are 25 levels of resistance, so anyone can use this machine and get a great workout.
  • I don't really know what this is, but the U616 also has a "high speed, high inertia drive system with a perimeter weighted flywheel for easy start up and smooth, consistent workouts"
  • DualTrack™ LCD displays - This means you can cover the main screen with a tablet or magazine and still see your results
  • In-console speakers with an MP3 input
  • USB charging
  • Adjustable fan

And, of course, the seat and handlebars are also adjustable, so you can have the perfect ride. For around $499, you get a lot for your money.

The Experience

I confess, I'm no fan of riding a stationary bike, so I was a little leery doing my first workout. Luckily, my first time went so smoothly, I decided I'll really like riding a stationary bike on a regular basis.

First, the adjustments are easy - Raising and lowering the seat was a cinch and so was hooking up the little feet hooky things and the handlebars, which have a huge range to fit just about anyone. After that, you can either choose a program or you can do what I did and hit Quick Start.

The pedaling was very smooth and it was easy to adjust the resistance - there are buttons that go on either side of the console, so you can just press, say, '5' to go up to that level of intensity. I mentioned there's a DualTrack LCD display, so you can see your intensity and heart rate on either side of the screen and view your progress in the middle. There's also a handy water bottle holder and a little shelf for your phone, tablet, etc.

It's also very quiet, much more so than my Treadclimber, so I can ride without bugging anyone else in the house and I can hear my TV shows and such.

Last, the Nautilus Connect and Nautilus Trainer apps are pretty cool. If you download the app, you just open it and it will scan your machine, letting you set what you want to track and how you want it to show up on the screen. You can set up more than 5 users, handy if you have a lot of people using the machine.

The Pros

There's a lot to love about the U616, like:

  • So easy to use, even my mom could figure it out (sorry, Mom)
  • Small footprint - I could almost fit this little bike in just about any one of my very small rooms and it wouldn't get in the way (although some might find it a distraction were it, say, in the kitchen)
  • Tons of great features in a small package - Lots of programs mean you can vary your workouts as often as you like and I love that you can connect through Bluetooth to the app to view your workouts.  I also love the USB port and the ability to hook up my iPhone
  • Adjustable handlebars - Maybe this is silly, but I love how far the handlebars go.  You can take them almost all the way up or down, and it's easy to adjust on the fly
  • Smooth ride - The ride is very smooth, even when you're standing up to pedal
  • Convenient buttons - I like doing interval workouts, like those in the (Motion Traxx App) and I loved that I could hit a level of intensity right away rather than having to press the resistance button a zillion times
  • The fan - I really love the fan - it actually works really well!

The Cons

I honestly don't have many complaints about the U616. In fact, I had to look for some, since nothing is that perfect, right?

For me, the only thing that bugged me was that I didn't have enough holders for all my stuff. There was a place to put a phone or a tablet, but there was nowhere to put my TV remotes (of course it takes two to work my TV), or any other other stuff I might need for my workout.

A very minor issue and you can always buy accessories to hold all your gear.

Overall, this is a very high-quality bike for a very reasonable price and it will fit just about anywhere.