245 of 251 people found the following review helpful
My best fitness friend.,
This review is from: Nautilus R514 Recumbent Exercise Bike (Sports)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (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!
Tracked by 7 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 21, 2011 9:12:28 PM PDT
Thank you for such a great review. I like that you start out by giving me a history of where you are starting from in regards to weight and fitness level. After looking at the Schwinn 240 and reading some of he issues with that bike I think I should spend the extra $100 and get this one.
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 21, 2011 9:24:43 PM PDT
I wish you the very best with this bike. I'm still using it now and still sold on it! Quiet, smooth, sturdy.
Posted on Dec 17, 2011 4:20:45 AM PST
Excellent review, thank you. Didn't really have to read any more. I'm buying this for my son, and was concerned that the bike may not be suitable for someone who is 5'2". I take it from your review adjusting for someone of that stature should not be a problem? Second, I've felt that recumbent bikes don't offer good range of motion at the hips compared to upright bikes. Any thoughts on this? Thanks a,
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 17, 2011 10:03:00 AM PST
Thanks for the compliment on my review! I have "shrunk" now that I've gotten older and I'm 5'4" with short legs. I wouldn't think your son would have any problem with adjusting the bike to suit him because I don't have it at the setting that is farthest forward. As far as range of motion for the hips, I would say it's about the same as with an upright bike...it's just that your body is in a sitting position rather than semi-upright. Also the seat is a "saddle," so you get some sideways motion with your hips, as opposed to being in a full chair seat where your hip movement would be more restricted. Hope I explained that well! If you order, hope your son enjoys it, and Happy Holidays to you both!
Posted on Jan 1, 2012 5:58:20 PM PST
Wow! You may have just converted me!
I was sold on the Schwinn 240 to replace my current NordicTrack, but now you've REALLY given me pause.
I lost over 60 pounds last year on that thing and freaked out when the console started acting crazy occasionally (and pretty much nonstop this weekend). Losing that weight was such a help to my arthritis, I'm terrified to go a day without a bike.
Good luck with your weight loss/maintenance! And THANK YOU for taking the time to write such a decent review.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2012 8:50:40 PM PST
Thanks and good luck to you also with your efforts to stay healthy! Yes, I have arthritis too, and movement is SO important! Take care!!
Posted on Jan 6, 2012 4:16:54 PM PST
S. L. Smith says:
Hello! Nice review - I am thinking of getting this bike. But could you please tell me how much you can adjust the pedal resistance? Also, why might someone prefer a recumbent bike over the other kind? Now I am not sure just what I should be looking for (recumbent or not).
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2012 4:31:26 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 6, 2012 4:32:18 PM PST
Hi and thanks! You can easily adjust the pedal resistance from almost free-flowing to very hard, so I think you'll find there's no issue there. I set it where I can go for 30 minutes or so without having to stop, and use the interval method of going as fast as I can for 10 seconds and then slower for 20 seconds. If it's too hard or too easy to pedal to do this, I change the setting. If the resistance is too low, it tends to catch when you pedal and it's not smoothe, so you need *some* resistance to establish a good pace. Other times, I just go at the same moderate pace...depends on how I feel and if my knee is hurting at all. As far as recumbent vs other stationary bikes, it is much more comfortable to use, especially if you are overweight. In a recumbent bike, you are actually reclining when you're pedaling as opposed to being upright and hunched over with other bikes. Now if you want a bike that you can basically stand up and pedal at times like they do in cycling classes, then you'd want the other kind of bike....and maybe you would get more hip movement and burn more calories in general that way. With the recumbent bike, though, you can get pretty good hip movement/action by adjusting the pedals to the proper length for your legs and letting yourself move side to side while you're pedaling. I also work up quite a sweat with this bike, especially with the harder pedal resistance.
Hope that answers your questions!