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on August 8, 2011
Let's start this by saying I am not mechanically inclined. I was enthused to find out that other people who claimed to be not terribly mechanically inclined put this together without much trouble. It took me 4 hours to put it together but mostly because I put a few things together wrong and that the "H" washer is actually labelled "K" on the hardware card. You can put this together MOSTLY by yourself though it's a lot easier to have an extra pair of hands when you go to put the seat rail on the bike frame. It's awkward and heavy and you have to plug the electronics together without pinching the wires while you balance the seat rail. Once I broke down and asked my husband to help me with that part, it went pretty easy. The next challenge was figuring out how to attach the electronic cords from the mast to the wheel housing....resulting in an argument and me sending my husband out of the room! I FINALLY finished it and was so exhausted from putting it together, I didn't try it until the next day. Once the trial of putting it together was over, I had to figure out how to use it. Do yourself a BIG favor and READ the manual while you are on the bike...it makes it a lot easier to figure out. I was able to figure it out mostly without the manual but found some extras I didn't realize when I was just winging it. Work outs are work outs -- this is quiet enough to plop it in front of the TV and bike away an hour long show without realizing it. A couple of suggestions for assembly:

1. READ THE ASSEMBLY MANUAL AND VERIFY YOUR PARTS LIST AGAINST WHAT YOU HAVE.

2. HAVE A SECOND PAIR OF HANDS STANDING BY TO HELP YOU WITH ATTACHING THE SEAT RAIL TO THE BIKE FRAME AND TO HELP WITH ATTACHING THE MAST.

3. ADJUST THE HANDLEBARS BEFORE YOU TIGHTEN THEM DOWN. I'M ONLY 5'6" AND MY KNEES HIT THE HANDLEBARS....HAD TO TAKE IT APART AND ADJUST THEM UPWARDS.

Other than the challenges with assembly, the bike is awesome. I have a herniated disc and don't mind exercising with this recumbent bike. It actually seems to help! I'd give this 5 stars but for the problems putting it together which I'm not altogether sure is fair since most of the problems were because I'm an idiot!
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on December 16, 2012
I am not big on writing reviews but I saw a lot of negative reviews out there for this bike, particularly about the delivery of the bike. I did about 2 weeks of research before deciding on this one from Amazon. My biggest concern being build quality and delivery. This bike is built solid and is dead silent, like you can only hear the clothes ruffling of the person riding the bike. This bike also has one of the best warranties compared to bikes of similar price.

I bought the bike 6 days ago and it arrived 2 days later (Amazon Prime). The box was very large, unlike some cheaply made bikes that come in a box half the size of the bike. There was a very large gash in the side of the box so I was a little concerned. I opened the box up and the first thing I saw was the gash was on the pedal assembly. I was pretty concerned because of the reviews I read about bikes being damaged during delivery (not just this bike had those reviews) was a major factor in my decision making process. I took the parts out of the bike and realized how well the manufacturer packed this thing. I became less and less concerned as I dismantled the packaging, so much so that I completely forgot to check the pedal assembly where the box had heavy damage. It took me about an hour to put the entire bike together and test it out.

I have used the bike now 5 days straight and so has my girlfriend. We have no complaints and are very happy with our purchase.

The instructions could be better. I haven't figured out the Polar Heart Rate thing yet...
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on February 7, 2012
The Good - Once the bike was together it works very well. It's solid and so far reliable and easy to use.
The Bad - Getting it into that condition was a total pain in the tail.

The box arrived via UPS somewhat the worse for wear. It appeared to be intact but when I opened it I found that there was no manual - woof!
I eventually downloaded a manual from Nautilus but their site is slow and buggy.

I laid out the parts and started assembly. "Some" assembly required is a joke. The hardware box was intact and sealed but near the end I found some hex bolts were missing so it was off to the hardware store. Amazon was no help, their answer was to send the whole thing back for a replacement.

As I said, once put together it works well but I really should have purchased it locally and made the store put it together. The missing parts would have been their problem, not mine.

Update - After using this for a couple of weeks there is one design defect that's really inconvenient. The knob to adjust the seat position must be totally removed to move the sliding seat. The knob is the head of a solid threaded bolt with a pin on the end. The nut is welded to the seat. Either the nut is way too shallow or the pin is the wrong length. The pin should be slightly shorter so the seat moves without completely removing the bolt or the pin should be much longer so you could pin the seat in place and then start the threads. As designed the pin is exactly the wrong length.

This is a major problem as my wife needs the seat in a different position and she can't move it by herself. Not sure if this is a design defect from Nautilus or a manufacturing defect from China.
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on December 7, 2012
I ordered this and when it arrived I quickly unboxed it to assemble.

Fingerprints, smudges, wipe marks, water drip marks permanently in the paint.

Every time I look at it, I wince. It's because the factory where they made it was in such a hurry
they didn't even let the paint dry properly!! Every time I look at it, it makes me upset.

Assembly is easy, and well laid out. Parts well made.

Ergonomics... 6/10. The seat on a recumbent should be angled back slightly.
On this bike it is ramrod straight, so it's uncomfortable. If you are trying to get
in shape, you will hit yourself in the belly all the time unless you recline and put
a pillow under your back. The seat and back included are very comfortable, so
a minor inconvenience unless you have a huge gut.

Really disappointed in the quality of the paint finish of this bike.
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on December 2, 2012
I was pleasantly surprised that this bike offers strong resistance on the upper levels. I expected it to be wimpy. I rode over 1,000 miles outdoors this season and I didn't think a low cost exercise bike would provide much challenge! However, there is noticeable and visible frame flex at the highest levels, so I'm not sure the bike will last very long with this usage. I can actually do interval training on this bike. The flywheel could be a bit heavier, but the motion is smoother than I expected and is very smooth on lower levels.

The bike is very quiet in operation. You can watch TV with only a slight increase in volume. It emits a slight groaning sound. The heart rate monitor built into the handles is completely useless. It gives a reading that is simply wrong. I have not tried the included external heart rate monitor.

Assembly took two full hours of work. I did it with no help. It arrived in a beat up box that would not have survived a return trip to Amazon even before I opened it. It's a long, awkward box that weighs over 100 lbs. It's not really something you will want to try to return. Be sure you want it before you order.

The seat is comfortable but is too deep. It is clearly designed with a larger person in mind (I am a 5'11" man with a 31" waist). I need to scoot forward a bit to prevent hitting my legs on the bottom of every stroke. I will be strapping a thin cushion to the backrest to move me forward a bit.

I have used the high quality, high priced exercise bikes at my gym. And this bike is a clear step down. For what I paid, I am very happy. If this bike provides me with a few years of service before giving up the ghost, I will consider it a good purchase.
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on January 19, 2013
I ordered the Nautilus R514 after reviewing several models of recumbent bikes. I had been considering switching from my treadmill to a recumbent bike due to arthritis in my knees and this was also recommended by my doctor. I have used Nautilus products in professional gyms and was always impressed with the solidity and comfort of the apparatus. This bike continues that trend.

Assembly and set up took about 1 and 1/2 hours. As with previous reviews, the outside cardboard container was significantly damaged, but the contents were not impacted in any way. Use of the product is easy and intuitive. I have not yet played with the different programs but they seem easy to use. The bike is solid and whisper quiet. The seat back is adjustable and fits comfortably to the my lower back. The fan is nice, but adds a bit of noise to an otherwise very quiet experience.

I am very happy with this bike and look forward to using it for years to come.
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on August 27, 2012
It took two of us to assemble the thing; one to try to figure out what the pictures mean and one to actually do the work. Aside from a couple of "what do you think that means" discussions, it went together well enough. I was impressed with the construction as it appears to be genuinely "over-built". Having said that, we immediately discovered that our bicycle had the same problem many others have encountered: the pedals would rotate backward but not forward. Called customer service and they were a delight; it was one of the best customer service experience I have ever had. Once the problem is solved, I expect that I'm really going to like the thing.

ADDENDUM: Putting it together turned out to be the least of the problems. Pulling the cranks was a no-brainer but then things fell apart. We couldn't remove the shrouds as two of the screws had been installed at a very sharp angle and were completely jammed. I managed to get one out but had to drill the other one and remove the shank with Vice-Grips. THEN I tried to follow the repair instructions I had been sent and discovered that they were so generic as to be worthless. I ended up calling customer service twice and was basically told "oh no you don't do that; what you do is . . .". They were very pleasant and helpful but the whole situation was extremely frustrating -- and the frustration only increased when I turned to trying to understand the computer.

At any case, the whole thing is together and working -- and, as I hoped, it is a delight to use.
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on July 23, 2012
I read the recent reviews about the bike coming with the flywheel locked up, so before I ordered I called Nautilus and asked about it. They stated that it does happen, but so infrequently that you really don't have to worry about it. I'm sure you have figured out by now that I ordered it and it came today. After assembly I found the flywheel locked up! Nautilus is sending special tools with the promise to walk me through the repair (1 week) and if this doesn't work a tech guy will come(2 weeks). When you pay 500 dollars the damn thing should work. Would not buy this under any circumstances.

Wanted to add that in talking with Nautilus today they stated that this problem happens with Amazon more then any other dealer and that they could never remember a flywheel being locked up when they sold one from their warehouse.

Update: The tool arrived and with the help of a Nautilus tech on the phone the bike was fixed in about 30 min. This was more of a hassle then I wanted, however the bike is wonderful and I have to rate it 5 Stars. Please do something about the shipping!
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on November 17, 2012
I purchased this bike over a year ago and I love it. The heart monitor it comes with works great and I'm able to exercise and watch TV or play video games without a problem. The programs are good and it has modes for adjusting the intensity to your target heart rate which is fantastic.

I received the bike disassembled in a large extremely heavy box. Once I helped the UPS guy get it up my stairs I began the assembly process. I am a directions follower and I had no problems with the assembly. Even though it is best to have two people to assemble this, I was able to assemble this by myself, against direction reccomendations. The box comes with all of the tools you need although I used my own tools as they were easier to use than the combo wrench screwdriver and tiny hex wrenches (think Ikea) they include with the bike. Assembling by myself required some balancing and props to keep things oriented while I assembled the parts but a couple of hours and few glasses of wine later I had a fully working bike.

I am a pretty big guy (6' 220+lbs) and for a person my size it worked well. Just know that if you're a big guy like me the seat will rock a little bit and squeak when you're pedaling with a lot of resistance unless you have good circular form.

The pedals and crank on this bike are pretty standard, so if you want to replace the pedals with the clipless type it should work.

Venzo Mountain Bike Bicycle Cycling Shimano SPD Shoes + Pedals & Cleats 44

My bike has a bug where if you reduce the tension to the lowest setting and quit your exercise program it will move the tension back and forth indefinitely trying to get the tensioner to it's "home" position. The solution is simply to set the difficulty level to something other than the lowest before quitting. You'll know this is happening because there will be a soft periodic whirring sound coming from the bike. I don't know if this is a common issue or just a misalignment of a sensor on my bike but it's something to look out for. I never bothered to call their customer service about it because once I figured the problem out I didn't mind the solution.

Note that since I started attending spin class regularly at my gym I've stopped using this bike. It's hard to get as intense of a workout on this bike but it is still a great rainy day exercise machine to get my heart rate up and break a sweat in the privacy of my own home while watching netflix. If you're an avid spinner or you do spin class regularly and frequently crank down hard on the tensioner don't expect to get an intense workout on this bike.

I'm pretty happy with this product. I've taken one star off for the shutdown bug, but otherwise it's been really good for me.
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on April 17, 2011
I highly recommend the Nautilus R514 Recumbent Exercise Bike. It is a quality product at a reasonable price. I have had mine for 2 months and have used it almost every day. Because there are so few moving parts, I think the bike will be more reliable than a treadmill or elliptical machine. In addition, there will be very little maintenance. The riding position is comfortable. The seat is well designed and is comfortable for an hour of exercise. The foot pedals are large and comfortable. The resistance goes from easy to challenging which allows you to gradually increase resistance as your fitness improves over time. The machine is very quiet, so you can watch television, listen to music or an audio book without turning up the volume in order to hear. You can program workouts for yourself or choose one of the seven-programmed workouts. The Polar heart rate monitor grips or chest belt work well. The chest belt is nice because you do not have to keep your hands on the grip to get a heart rate reading. That frees your hands up to hold a book or grip different parts of the bike and still maintains a heat rate reading.

There are two complaints:
1.The adjustment for the pedal straps is very difficult. The straps are adjustable, but it takes a lot of finger strength to do it.
2.The seat is adjustable and works well after you loosen the adjustment knob. However, the seat adjustment knob must be tight, so the seat is stable from side to side. The problem is it takes a lot of force to loosen the knob when you want to adjust the seat.

The unit is heavy in the shipping box and the shipping box is large. You will need help moving it to your assembly location. If you are not use to assembling things or have trouble reading and following directions, I would recommend that you pay to assembly the bike. It took me about six hours to unpack and assemble the unit. The directions are good, but it is easy to make a mistake it you make assumptions or skip steps. There are no extra parts - I used every nut and bolt. The parts were labeled well and no parts were missing. I would recommend that you take a digital close up picture of the part packages because when you remove the protective clear packaging you may not be able to read the size printing for the screw, bolts, and nuts. The directions refer to those sizes.

Please do not be discouraged by this review. This is a really well made product and I think a good exercise alternative.
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