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256 of 263 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 16, 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am reviewing this bike from the perspective of someone who is about 100 pounds overweight, 5'4", and 55 years of age. I also have lower spinal problems which might require surgery, so I'm using this bike for weight loss, as well as general strengthening my back and improving my fitness level. I've lost 125 pounds in the last few years, partly by using a recumbent bike for exercise, but still have a ways to go! I'm writing this to let the reader know that I think using a recumbent bike for cardio exercise is a great thing especially if you are limited in how much weight-bearing exercise you can do.

1st of all, the bike was very easy to put together. My easily-frustrated brother was kind enough to do this for me, and let me just say that I heard no yelling, cursing, or "what the h*ll is this?" the whole time. So...directions are excellent. In addition, the owner's manual (only about 20 pages) also has clear instructions, but graphics and instructions on the console screen are easy to follow.

With this recumbent bike, all the adjustments in the workouts (such as resistance) are electronic and controlled on the touch screen console, as opposed to having to turn this or that wheel manually -- really convenient and quicker. The console itself is rather small as compared with some other bikes that I have seen, which I love because it doesn't block the TV screen if you want to watch while working out. (I encourage myself to workout by picking a TV show -- Nancy Grace for me -- to work out during each night.) Also, the console can tilt into different positions to make viewing the most comfortable for you.

The seat on this bike is well-padded, comfortable, and easily slides forward or backwards depending on the length of the rider's legs. The handles beside the seat are also at a comfortable height and position for you to rest your hands while riding. Even though there is a mechanism to tighten the seat to keep it from wobbling side to side, it still does so a tad--you don't seem to be able to tighten it down completely. I'm not sure if this is a problem or not, as in some ways it makes your range of motion a little better when peddling, but I would hope that it wouldn't keep getting looser and looser, and have to keep getting re-tightened.

A nice feature is the handlebars beside the console, which my former bike had but were positioned too far away from the rider -- it takes the stress off your back to grab onto handlebars and pull yourself forward, or just re-adjust your position, at times throughout the workout. Pedals on the bike are large and easy to fit your shoes into, although I tend to ride in my socks -- I haven't encountered a problem with that at all, as there is texture on the pads which help keep your foot into place (not slippery, in other words). The magazine rack is located under the seat...love that little handy feature. There is also an easy-to-install water bottle holder that is located on the upright bar under the console. My last bike had the water bottle holder UNDER the seat--very inconvenient, especially is you're a little hefty on the bottom side, as I am.

Love the choice of workouts, the "memory" so that you can track your progress (and compete against yourself), and that you can customize all the settings and such for two different riders. It is just plain fun to "play" with the adjustments on the console screen, so I get a pretty good warm-up just by pedaling while I'm looking at all the settings and picking a workout. I don't really use the heart rate monitor, as I'm used to assessing how hard I'm working by how hard I'm breathing, but I may utilize that feature further down the road. The strap that goes across your chest is fairly comfortable, and is adjustable for most anyone's size.

Another great feature is the fan -- yes, a fan! There is a little louvre that can be adjusted to blow the air in the direction you want, and at two different speeds. I only use the fan (just touch the screen) when I get pretty hot and sweaty, as it is blowing directly into your face, and could be irritating & noisy for the whole workout.

I highly recommend this bike, and, especially with the 10 year warranty, I can't see myself getting another one for a long, long time. Especially if you're unable to walk long distances, this will give you an excellent, sweat-filled, low-impact workout, for all fitness and weight-loss purposes. With the sleek appearance, it really looks nice in my living room, and everyone I know wants to get on it and ride when they come over. I'm delighted with it!
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128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2009
I have had the Nautilus R514 for about 3 weeks now and it has been the best exercise machine that I have ever bought. The computer on it is easy to understand. You can go up to 16 levels as far as resistance is concerned. My husband and I have not really done a lot of aerobic exercise in a long while so we have our highest setting as level 4 right now, which doesn't sound like much, but is. He weighs roughly 290 and I weigh 170. I am average height og 5'6" and he is very tall. He doesn't have any problem with the seat settings. The seat is very easy to move to change between his and mine. The frame of the machine is very sturdy. It takes up a but of room as it is about 4 and a half to 5 feet long and needs about 3 feet of space widthwise. But we fit it into our living room alright. I have gotten tired of buying low-priced machines that do not last long so I decided to spend some more money and buy something from a company with a good reputation. I always used Nautilus machines at the gym I used to go to and they were always excellent machines. As I make progress with this machine I will write an addon to this post later this year. I definately recommend this product. Also, it was shipped very quickly and that was even with free shipping, and was in pristine condition when I received it.

May 2013 and we still have this exercise bike. Although we haven't used it quite as much as we'd want, it has held up very well. Still a great bike!
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102 of 104 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2010
I found the Nautilus R514 very quiet, quite sturdy, and relatively easy to assemble. I would make the following suggestions to anyone purchasing this exercise bike.

1. Go to the Nautilus site, find the Assembly Manual, download and print it. It contains all the latest addendae, and the printout drawings will be larger and easier to read.

2. Spend some time reading the instructions while examining the parts before you start assembly. This may keep you from having to reinstall some of the parts

3. The latest manual starts with removing the seat rail from the frame. Skip to Step 2 instead and install the front and rear stabilizer feet first. This will keep the frame stable while you remove the seat rail (step 1).

4. As you install the bolts in a particular assembly, don't tighten them until you have all of them in place. This will help you to achieve correct alignment.

About the only complaint (a minor one) I have is the method of seat adjustment. To move the seat forward or rearward, you have to just about completely remove the knob that holds the seat in place. It's not a problem if you are the only user since you can just leave the seat in place once you achieve the correct position. However, for multi-user groups, you may find the procedure annoying after a while. It does, though, hold the seat very firmly with no wobble.
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44 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2010
Got this bike just over a month ago, and so far it's been fantastic. It did take about 2 hours for me to assemble by myself, but the instructions were straightforward enough, and once assembled, the bike is very sturdy and stable.

For me, the best feature is the fact that it rarely squeaks and makes virtually no sound, which is great if you live in an apartment and like to ride later at night. It's good to know i won't be annoying anyone.

Overall i like the computer and the display, although it could be a little easier to set up a custom program. It's nice to see how fast you're going and how many calories you're burning.

Te seat isn't the most comfortable after awhile, but it's an exercise bike, not a recliner. For exercise purposes, it's fine.

One minor note: the front handlebars can come loose a bit easily if you hold them a lot, just keep the allen wrench they give you handy for occasional tightening.

It can really provide a terrific workout. I started in the lower levels, and in a month i've advanced to almost the highest levels, and have lost quite a bit of weight. There's also many pre-programmed routines, so even if you reach the bike's toughest resistance levels, you'll always have plenty of workout options.

This bike provides an easy to do workout that you can do in your own place and not make excuses to avoid it. Just stick the bike in front of a TV, and go for 40-60 minutes. Before you know it you're done and you've burned a few hundred calories. Can't recommend this enough.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2010
Overall, this seems like a decent, if not spectacular product. I'd rate it 4 stars on quality of build, 3 stars on product design, and 2 stars on quality control (for missing/not working parts).

The pros:

- Seems very solidly built--nothing flimsy about it
- EXTREMELY quiet...no kidding, you could ride the thing with someone sleeping in the same room
- Very comfortable/adjustable seat
- Customer service was relatively easy to deal with in getting missing parts

The cons:
- Quality control:
--Missing seat bracket (it just wasn't even in the box)
--Contact heart rate monitor doesn't work
- User interface is ok--but not what I would expect from exercise equipment in this price range
- Grips up by the screen don't seem to have a configuration that is both useful for its intended purpose, and is out of the way enough to not hit your knees every time you pedal
- Some sort of more substantial rack on the screen to hold a magazine or book would be nice
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on May 5, 2011
My family ordered the Nautilus 514 Recumbent bike because we were looking to get into better shape. I have had experience with numerous exercise bikes. Both recumbent and upright at both LA Fitness gyms and 24 Hour Fitness gyms, ranging from Pro Form bikes, Stamina bikes, and Schwinn bikes.

SHIPPING and ASSEMBLY:
We recieved this package on time. However, the box it came in was badly damaged, cardboard smashed and ripped in some places, torn tape, etc. Luckily there were no damaged parts due to the styrofoam packaging. The packaging company could definately make things easier by providing handling instructions for shipping by labeling which side is up. The parts came disassembled with an instruction manual and tools included. The bike was relatively easy to assemble by following the manual. Using the diagram pictures made it easier to match parts to their location. It took me about 35 minutes, and I would consider myself as having an intermediate level mechanical aptitude.

PERFORMANCE:
The Nautilus 514 Recumbent Exercise bike rates 5 stars for performance. This bike is comfortable, easy to move, nice looking, quiet, and smooth. One of the reasons why I rate this bike higher than any others I've tried is the fact that it is literally silent, no matter how hard your pedaling. Not only is it quiet, but the strides are smooth. It feels like you are gliding along. I'm very impressed so far with how it rides.

FEATURES:
The pedals are about 6 inches wide, with an adjustable foot strap. They are plenty big, and give enough support for your feet when your pedaling at the highest level of resistance. The seat is easily 1 1/2 feet wide with 2 inches thick padding. Same with the back pad, about 1 1/2 feet wide at its biggest point to 1 feet at the top of the pad. The seat is extremely comfortable. The back pad can also be changed from upright to slightly reclined according to your preference.

The computer works like most other computers except for a few unique features. It can track data and progress for 2 custom users. This is a very nice feature as it logs information as total workouts, total miles, total calories, average heart rate and MPH. It also calculates your body mass index by using your imputed height and weight. You can also store 2 custom workouts.. that means you can actually create your own workout by changing the resistance level, every interval for 40 total intervals. Each interval lasting 45 seconds...another feature I think is unique. If you don't create a custom workout you still have plenty to choose from including hill 1 and 2, random, manual, and a few others. The computer also displays encouraging statements like good job, keep it up, longer strides, etc. The fan is also located on the computer. It has 3 settings, although they don't change much between the 3. It's ok though because it seems to blow out enough air. This is the only thing thats noisy. I can compare the sound to that of a running printer.

The heart rate monitors are included on the grips parallel to the seat. They are not as accurate as the chest strap provided. I enjoy using this feature. I might add that it is pretty tight around my chest and I am only 185 pounds. Maybe a small drawback for bigger people.

The bike also comes with a storage basket under the seat, big enough for towels, books, small dumbells ,etc... The drink holder is the exact size for the standard water bottle. I do wish they would have created a bigger holder, or even an adjustable holder. Its really not that big of a deal though because you can always use the basket as storage. The front stabilizing bar also includes small roller wheels. The rear, just behind the seat has a sturdy handle which is used to lift and steer the bike while moving...easy to do.

Overall a GREAT product. In my opinion it is the top of the line model available. If you want a recumbant exercise bike and have a higher budget this is the bike to get. With the warranty included it simply can't be beat.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2010
My thoughts on the assembly process:
1) The actual manual had 4 (loose) addendum pages and weren't located in the proper page locations. So just review them before assembly, otherwise you'll be scratchin your head trying to figure out the actual figures. My only question is why they just could't print out a complete new manual? It's nothing fancy.
2) The lock down seat adjustment has to be the absolute worst design. The knob requires to many turns...if fact it almost has to come completely out for the seat to slide. Then you have to line the screw up with an adjustment hole..that you can't see??)
3) The Operators manual refers to a "one" speed fan. Well, mine has multiple speeds, but is quite noisy!
All in all, if they just fixed the simple things, this would be an assume bike. Love the variations/options available.
ALSO NOTE: Nowhere is it mentioned that it requires AC power for the display, (no battery operation). So keep a wall socket close.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2010
Reading other reviews caused me to buy this product. I hope this review does the same. Assembly was excellent. This is second product I have purchased where tools were with the product. However it took me a little longer to assemble. The finish product made that worth while. Performance was great and the wife and I enjoy exercising every day. I have an knee replacement and it reminds me when I was taking physical therapy. Just what the doctor ordered. I recommend that every body that requires this type of physcial therapy, purchase one of these. "By the way the fan works great". Might want to place a TV in front of the bike and that will make 30 miniutes fly. Maybe it will encourage to go another 30 miniutes.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2010
Excellent value for the money. Again Amazon.com delivered it in excellent condition. The bike was easy to assemble; done in less than 1 hour. Programing the computer for custom profiles was the most difficult and that was not hard. The bike operates very smoothly and quietly. The heart monitor is excellent. The bike has a sturdy frame, large firm seat & back rest. The only down side is that there is no place to store the TV remote, the underseat basket is too far to bend over while in motion. Again the bike is a great value.
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59 of 68 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 16, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was really excited to receive the Nautilus R514 Recumbent Exercise Bike, but I can't believe how much of a chore it was to put together. My other exercise bike is a Schwinn and it was much less trouble. The problem with the Nautilus is that there are many addenda to the assembly instructions that are printed on separate papers and just stuck into the manual. If you aren't paying attention and lose or misplace one of those loose pieces of paper, it can really screw up the assembly process. It is also especially annoying that in order to assemble it I had to start by disassembling pieces. I don't normally consider assembly when I am decided on how to rate a product, but in this case I really have to. It took me several hours to assemble it by myself, and I'm pretty good as assembling things.

As for the bike itself, it's pretty good, but I don't know that it is worth the cost. The price on this model is around $200 more than my Schwinn, but the design and construction are very similar. I didn't find that this model was any sturdier than the Schwinn, either. It does have a couple of advantages to my Schwinn: (1) you don't have to step over the bar to get into the seat, it isn't a huge advantage but I did notice it was easier, and (2) it has a fan, of course I can just as easily put a fan next to my other bike. It also has what I consider a pretty annoying disadvantage, no book holder! I'm sure I can create a make-shift book holder to use while I am on the Nautilus, but it is such a stupid oversight. I can't remember the last time I saw an exercise bike that didn't have a place to set a book or magazine.

One thing I like a lot about this bike is that it comes with a heart rate strap and can read your rate directly from it. That's a lot more convenient and comfortable then using the little handlebars. It's no $200 worth of convenience though.

I think this bike is fine, it is effective, and it is well-made. But there just isn't anything about it that stands out and makes me feel like it is worth the extra money.
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