Customer Reviews: Nautilus E514 Elliptical Trainer
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on May 7, 2010
In short, the Nautilus E514 is an excellent elliptical. I live in a condo and wanted a piece of exercise equipment that was quiet and relatively compact. This immediately ruled out a treadmill and a bike just seemed too boring, so I decided on an elliptical. I looked online to read reviews and identified several models that were generally given good scores; however, because there was no consensus I decided to stop at a nearby Dick's Sporting Goods to test some of the equipment first hand. I am lucky I did. Initially, I was leaning towards and AudioStrider, but it turned out to be quite wobbly. As a result, I started testing some of the more expensive ellipticals that were on display. As most of the online reviews had said, the ellipticals that were over [...] were much more sturdy. They also had additional features such as variable strides and inclines. However, the problem was that they were enormous, typically ~80" in length, which was just too big for my apartment. That is when I noticed the E514. It was only ~60" long and felt extremely sturdy. It was also very quiet, ran smoothly, and included a chest strap with telemetry, which I thought was cool. Well, needless to say I went with the E514 and have been extremely happy with my purchase. I have been working out regularly for two months now and the E514 still feels sturdy and smooth and it is still very quiet. I have not used the chest strap much but it seems to work fairly well. In contrast, the handle bar monitor seems to have a slow response, but this does not really affect my workouts. I should also mention that the E514 was extremely easy to put together, taking less than 2 hrs if I remember correctly, and came with very clear instructions. My only complaint about the E514 is that it does not have a variable stride, but this is minor. The 18" stride normally feels fine (note, I am 5'10". 175lbs). It is only when I am trying to sprint for the final minute of my workout that it feels a little short. Overall, this is an excellent elliptical and I highly recommend it.
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on June 16, 2010
If I had known the process to get warranty work done on this Nautilus E 514 I would have run like the wind. I purchased this on MARCH 13 The motor quit after less than 2 months and it is now JUNE 16th and still no technician has scheduled to fix the thing. I was using the machine less than one hour a day when it quit for no apparent reason and starting making a hammering like sound inside the casing. I am 145 pounds at the heaviest so that should not be a factor in a machine that accomondates 300 lbs. While it was working it was fine, but I could have joined a top notch fitness center for the $750.00 I spent to sit around and wait on a repairman.
UPDATE: STILL WAITING It is now JULY 11th and although an authorized Nautilus repairman from the company General Assembly, which Nautilus contracts for repair work, had to come over a 3 hour drive (that was the closest repairman although I live in a large city) He had to order more parts and left me with the machine taken apart until his next visit. They say the parts will be here soon, but call them if they don't. I can see why over the last two months the stock price has dropped on this Naughty Nautilus company. They are customer no service worse than any other I have dealt with.
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on August 19, 2011
Nautilus E514 Elliptical Trainer

We purchased the E514 in June. When we finished putting it together we realized the resistance did not work. We called Nautilus and ordered the part needed to take machine apart. When that arrived customer service said the motor was not working. We ordered that and put the new motor in but the resistance still did not work. Customer service said we needed to order a new main wire harness. When that arrived we put it in but to no avail! We are now debating if we should order a new console. It has been 3 +months and we have not found out what is wrong with the resistance.
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VINE VOICEon December 20, 2010
I've now been using this elliptical for about 2 months and think I can make a fair product review at this point.

a) Assembly was easy and all hardware and components are clearly marked. Did it by myself and it took about 1.5 hours to assemble complete. If you're a handy person this will be an easy assembly, if not you should have someone help you. Honestly, unpacking the unit from the carton took as long for me as putting the unit together. The machine comes very well packed and protected, but cutting away all the foam blocks and tape is very time consuming!

b) Functionality is excellent. I have a Nautilus bike I purchased a few months ago and love its fluid and exceptionally quiet operation. This was one of the main reasons I purchased a Nautilus elliptical as well, as I was expecting the same type of operation. It works exactly as I was expecting it to...quiet, stable to the floor, and easy to operate.

c) Computer is easy to operate and there's plenty of useful information for you to review, i.e. speed, heart rate, time, distance, etc.

d) There's a built in fan, but it's not very strong. Don't expect it to cool you off much on hot days!

e) Heart rate wireless monitor is an excellent feature that works very well (your heart rate shows up on the computer screen automatically). Although you have the option of using the grips connected to the center handle bars for checking your heart rate, you have the better option of using the wireless chest strap. I like this much better as you are free to move your hands and not have to keep them positioned in the same place. If you want to ensure you are getting your heart rate into the right fat burning zone then this feature is a must. I wouldn't buy a machine without it.

In closing, I'm very pleased with my purchase and I'm definitely recommending this product to you also.
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on March 28, 2011
electric console/monitor died after 2 weeks. after waiting 30 mins for customer service, they said the replacement console is on back order with no knowledge of when it will be available. apparently this malfunction seems to be a common occurrence.
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on January 18, 2010
The assembly took about 2.5 hours (and I am fairly mechanically inclined.) Some of the parts did not fit together easily.

The electronic display looks nice, but has some minor design flaws. The worst one of these in my opinion is the heart rate monitor. It seems to be a moving average, so it takes about 20-30 seconds to get an accurate reading. I don't use the heart rate strap. The workouts are divided into 40 segments. For some reason the unit is unable to divide the time properly unless the workout is an even number of minutes. So you wind up getting weird extra intervals at the end of the workout. Also, the workout routinely tells you to increase or decrease your stride, which I find odd for a machine that has a fixed stride.

Overall the machine does not feel completely solid, when I started exercising I was 280 lbs and the machine sometimes swayed from side to side while I was working out, especially while drinking water or wiping sweat off my brow. The machine also makes a loud grinding noise while I'm using it.

I had bad experiences with customer support for this product. A few months after I bought the machine, one of the plastic bushings wore through. It turned out that they did not have this part in stock and wanted to send me a whole new machine instead. I balked at the thought of setting up a whole new machine and finding a way to dispose of the old one. The woman I talked to actually told me that I should donate the broken machine to a charity. Like anyone would want it! I thought it was ridiculous to send an entire new machine for a most likely $5 part, so I told them I would only agree to that if they sent professional installer to assemble it and hauled away both the old unit and the box the new unit came in. They finally begrudgingly agreed. (I'm not sure why they couldn't have just opened up a box and pulled the part I needed, but I digress.)

Anyway, the second machine eventually started having the same noise problems as the first machine, but it's still working after 2.5 years so I am upgrading this to 3 stars. It turned out to be more economical than a gym membership, but that's about the only good thing I can say at this point.
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on January 2, 2012
I've owned this product for a little over a month, and I have ramped up to using it 30+ minutes per day, every day.

I am accustomed to the "gym-worthy" Precor ellipticals and LifeFitness recumbent bikes used at my local gym. When I decided to invest in a home gym, I wanted to get machines on a budget (sub-$1000) that would allow me to stay active by having a basic workout while in my home theater room while watching TV or listening to music.

Prior to buying this product, I also purchased a Nautilus R514 recumbent bike, and while it had one defect -- portions of the LCD screen on the head unit did not work properly -- Nautilus shipped me a replacement free of charge, and it was their customer service that nudged me over the edge to pull the trigger on this unit. Amazon was running a sale when on the E514, but I wanted to get my issue with the recumbent resolved before buying this one -- mainly because I was very conscious of the negative reviews of both products involving their warranty support. All it took was one call to Nautilus, and the support representative actually did not force me to go through the "did you plug it in? now unplug it and plug it back in... now what happened?"-routine. Instead, she listened to the problem, determined that the solution was a replacement of the head unit, walked me through getting my serial number off my R514, and got me a replacement head unit ASAP. I ordered the E514, and quite honestly, it's been great ever since.


Assembly was easy and straightforward. All parts were clearly labeled (even pointing out which parts go on the left or right of the machine), and every bolt, nut & washer was provided on two sheets that made it easy to confirm that the unit came with all the required bits & pieces. For folks who did not get every part required, I have to say it seems like this reduces the odds of a problem, and perhaps it reflects a change in how Nautilus ships the units. Assembly took about two hours.

The unit is small enough to fit in to a small space, and the stride height is low enough that when friends who are a bit taller (6'2"-6'4") have used it, they have no problems with staying clear of the ceiling in my house, where the ceiling is just barely over 8' high.

The front of of the machine can actually "roll" when moving it, so you can lift the elliptical from the rear and roll it wherever you need to. Mine is on carpet, so I cannot speak to whether this would scratch or damage a hard floor.

The variety of resistance levels allow me to get a great workout. I do not think I'll "outgrow" this machine.

The price is absolutely great, and you get a great machine that is extremely well-designed and well-built.


The E514 does not have the ability to adjust the incline/decline, so the resistance is what is adjusted throughout the workout. This works great in terms of providing a good workout, but for me, it feels like I am running on a slight decline (downhill) with resistance, and that took some getting used to

That said, it's a matter of personal preference, and what feels ergonomically correct for you. For me it works just fine, but I'd still prefer a slight incline. Again, if I was at the gym using the (much more expensive and larger) Precor units, I'd also be able to adjust this as part of my workout, but instead

Programming the custom workout settings is literally like step-editing, and identical to doing it on the recumbent (Nautilus R514). I set mine up without consulting the manual, but the process is not completely intuitive because the screen does not show you where you are in the workout as you edit the resistance level for each interval. Once I figured it out, it was cake, but the first time through is a bit of a head-scratcher.

I'm very happy with this machine after owning it for about six weeks. It's really changed my lifestyle because now I can work out in my home, at my convenience, and it's not uncommon for me to be on this machine while catching up with my favorite TV shows or working my way through my Netflix instant queue. :-)
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on March 6, 2011
We had a small room in a mountain cabin and also 3 years experience at our home with a much larger and more expensive Schwinn 428 elliptical machine so finding this "bargain" to work so well and quietly was perfect for our needs. We use it almost daily. Assembly was easy over an afternoon but I preferred using my own tools to the ones sent with it. We like the stride length and the "feel" more than others we looked at and tried out in stores - like Dicks, etc. We're both about 5 and 1/2 ft tall, under 150 lbs, and well over 50 years old. The machine is well built, stable, has an intuitive control panel, and sequential clock so using it is fast and easy. We recommend a TV with headphones so work-outs don't disturb someone near-by. Consumer Reports loved this one, too, in a 2011 issue. Arrived well-packed and parts were carried in after opening the large box outside with the fly-wheel being the heaviest. Caution: use ALL of the parts sent, especially all washers ! Recommend this machine w/o reservation.
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on February 10, 2010
I got this machine yesterday and assembled it as soon as I got home from work. I do have to disagree with the time to assemble posted in another review. It took me just a hair over an hour and fifteen minutes to assemble and that was including unboxing all the way to final assembly. I am fairly mechanically inclined though, but I can't imagine it taking more than 2 hours to assemble for the average person.

After assembly, I spent an hour working out on the elliptical and it seemed smooth and steady. You need to make sure the feet on the bottom are level though so it doesn't rock at all. I am 187lbs and it was very stable during my workout, but I can see that not being the case with people closer to the maximum weight for the machine. The machine only weights 160lbs or so, so it's just simple physics at that point :-p

Overall, a good experience so far. I will try to update this after a few weeks as I will be using this pretty much daily.
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on November 28, 2011
I took advantage of an excellent price with Amazon's daily sale's and paid $499 for E514 plus free shipping (with Prime). The E514 worked fine for the fist six weeks, then the display failed to boot up correctly. (Displayed an E2 message.) After several email correspondence with Nautilus tech support, they shipped a new display console. After installing (which solved the display problem), the unit started making a banging noise, with power applied and not in use. The thump noise continues even during use, up to about level 12 (out of 16 levels). This is not my normal resistance level, so it is inconvenient to use at level 12. I have not received any response from Nautilus on how to resolve this. The unit must have functional electronics to work correctly, so the E514 is occupying space, without the health benefit of being able to exercise with it. The unit is of very poor quality, and I would not recommend for purchase.
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