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The Nautilus E618 Elliptical Trainer – Powerful And Affordable [A Review]

nautilus e618 review

The E618 is the most advanced elliptical trainer Nautilus offers to date. And with a sale price just under $1000, this elliptical machine is sporting some surprisingly impressive specs.

Highlights include a 22″ stride length, 29 built-in workout programs, and a generous warranty.

If you’re looking for an affordable, easy-to-use elliptical with enough workout variety to keep your exercise routines fresh for the long haul, the Nautilus E618 might just be the ticket.

This review is here to help you figure that out.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at everything this elliptical has to offer. We’ll dive into all the key performance specs as well as discuss all the additional features this model comes with.

After reading, you should have a better understanding of what this elliptical’s strengthens and weaknesses are and whether or not it’s the right elliptical to add to your home gym.

Nautilus E618 Elliptical Trainer

Nautilus is a very recognizable, popular home fitness brand. They’ve been thriving for 40 years or so, so something must be working.

One thing I like about the brand is that they keep things simple. They only offer cardio equipment and they only offer 3 models in each category (upright bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, recumbent bikes).

They also give their products really easy to remember names- all machines are labeled according to the first letter of what they are. For example, all elliptical model numbers start with an “E”. All treadmill models start with a “T”, and so on.

The numbers for each series are the same too: 614, 616, and 618.

As someone who reviews fitness equipment, I appreciate the simplicity of this system. Makes it a lot easier to keep track of all their machines.

Anyway, the E618 is Nautilus’s most advanced elliptical, as the “618” indicates. It comes with some pretty significant upgrades over the E616, including a longer stride length, heavier frame, and extended warranty.

All though this is the most expensive model in their elliptical lineup, I still consider it a budget elliptical (with a sale price under $1000).

Pros

  • 22″ stride length
  • 30 lb flywheel
  • 29 workout programs
  • 25 levels of magnetic resistance
  • Power incline up to 10°
  • Adjustable sight line console
  • Bluetooth friendly
  • Multi-position handlebars
  • Quick touch resistance and incline buttons
  • Chest strap heart rate monitor included
  • USB charging port
  • Good warranty
  • 350 lb weight capacity

Cons

  • 22″ stride length could be too long for shorter users
  • No bluetooth speakers

Stride Length

I think stride length is the most important performance spec to consider when looking at home ellipticals because it’s the stat that’s going to tell you the most about how comfortable that machine is to use.

In case you’re wondering, stride length is defined as the distance the two foot pedals move (front to back) during use. This spec is measured in inches and longer is considered better because it allows you to stretch out fully during use.

It’s kind of like comparing running to jogging- you can “run” on ellipticals with longer stride lengths and you can “jog” on ones with shorter stride lengths.

20″ is considered the gold standard for quality home ellipticals because it’s been shown that most people, regardless of height, can use a machine with a 20″ stride length fairly comfortably.

The taller and shorter than average people might be the exceptions, but generally speaking, you’re pretty safe with a 20″ stride length (for more specific info on finding the right stride length based on height, check out this guide).

The Nautilus E618 comes with a 22″ stride length, which is pleasantly surprising, especially for an elliptical in this price range.

The extra 2″ makes this is a nice choice for taller users (over 6′), but it could actually be a little too long for people under 5’3″. Shorter folks might feel like they’re having to out too far, which could be just as uncomfortable as being too cramped.

The frame on the E618 is robust, with a total weight of 210 lb (about 37 lb more than the E616). This extra weight adds stability to the elliptical, reducing unwanted movement during your workouts.

It also allows this elliptical to hold users weighing up to 350 lb, which is impressive for a budget elliptical.

Overall, the E618 scores highly in my book with a 22″ stride length and a 350 lb weight limit. This is awesome for the big and tall crowd, but might be a little too large for the height challenged.

Flywheel

After stride length, the next spec I immediately look at is flywheel weight. The flywheel is the part that spins as you pedal, creating the “feel” and the resistance you push against during your workouts.

The system is very similar to the ones used in most spin bikes.

Just like with spin bikes, when it comes to elliptical flywheels, heavier is usually considered better because they usually provide a smoother feel.

More weight creates more momentum as it spins. The added momentum reduces lag between pedal strokes, making for a smoother movement.

How heavy is heavy enough? This rule isn’t written in stone, but a 20 lb flywheel is usually heavy enough to provide a smooth, consistent feel.

That said, it can be difficult to find the exact flywheel weight. Ellipticals with especially heavy flywheels usually advertise it, because it’s a plus. Those with average or below average flywheel weights usually don’t advertise it.

I haven’t been able to find the flywheel weight for the E618 anywhere in the manual or on Nautilus’s site, but according to their support personnel, it weighs about 30 lb.

Assuming this is true, this is a heavy flywheel for an elliptical, especially a budget model.

With a flywheel this heavy, you should expect smooth operation. Pair this heavy flywheel with 25 levels of magnetic resistance and you’ve got the ingredients for a workout as intense as you can handle.

The E618 can also incline up to 10° for even more intensity. The power incline is a nice feature because it also allows you to target specific muscle groups. FYI- increasing the incline usually gets the glutes and hamstrings more involved.

Overall, this elliptical is packing some pretty impressive muscle under the hood with a 30 lb flywheel. Having 25 resistance levels and incline options gives you a lot of control over the intensity of your workouts.

Features

The Nautilus E618 comes with the following features:

29 workout programs- this elliptical comes with a ton of workouts to choose from without having to pay a monthly fee. The workouts include profile options, custom workouts, and heart rate lead workouts.

Adjustable site line console- you can adjust the angle of the console for optimal visibility during your workouts. The console also comes with dual backlit displays, allowing you to see all your workout stats and workout profile at the same time.

Bluetooth capabilities- you can sync the E618 with the free Nautilus Trainer 2 app for data tracking as well as the RunSocial app, which allows you to run virtually around different scenic routes around the world. You can also share data with most popular fitness apps.

Multi-position handlebars- this feature allows you to choose which hand position is most comfortable for ya. It also allows you to target different upper body muscles depending on your grip.

Suspension Adjust cushioning system- this feature allows the foot plate angle to be customized between 0-10° for a perfect fit for added comfort.

Chest strap heart rate monitor included- this elliptical is compatible with chest strap monitors and Nautilus even includes one with purchase. This makes monitoring workout intensity easier and more accurate than using the grip monitors.

Quick touch buttons- you can instantly set the resistance and incline with the touch of a button. Comes in especially handy with interval training.

Handle buttons- you can also conveniently adjust the resistance and incline settings with the buttons located on the moving handles.

USB charging port- keep your tablet or smart phone fully charged during your workouts.

Media shelf- this shelf allows you to watch your tablet or read a magazine during your workouts. It’ll block the large display screen, but you’ll still be able to see stats on the smaller, lower screen.

3 speed fan- the built-in fan will help keep ya comfortable during your workouts.

Assembly

Nautilus does a nice job with their assembly manuals. I like that they provide a to-scale image of all the hardware before you begin.

They also identify each bolt and nut clearly in each step as well as provide enlarged images in each step to ensure you don’t get confused.

Each step also comes with written directions that make sense, which is always nice.

Overall, I think most folks will find the assembly pretty straightforward. Just keep in mind this machine is pretty heavy (over 200 lb), so it will be helpful to have another set of hands for moving it around.

Expect to spend 1-2 hrs getting the job done, depending on your level of handiness of course.

Warranty

The Nautilus E618 comes with the following warranty:

  • 15 year frame
  • 5 year parts and electronics
  • 2 year labor

Overall, I think this is a pretty spectacular warranty on this elliptical. I’d love to see “lifetime” on the frame instead of 15 years, but realistically speaking, it’s probably just semantics. Would you be disappointed if the frame “only” lasted 15 years?

Five years on parts is generous for an elliptical in this price range, as is 2 years on labor (1 is industry standard).

Final Thoughts

The E618 is the cream-of-the-crop in Nautilus’s elliptical line up. It’s priced well (especially on sale) and it’s sporting some very respectable specs for its price range.

My favorite features are the 22″ stride length, the 30 lb flywheel and the extended warranty. These are the departments I think matter most and this elliptical delivers nicely in each category.

I’m not as concerned with workout variety, but the E618 isn’t lacking in that department either. The only thing missing is bluetooth speakers, but most people probably use headphones anyway.

I guess my biggest complaint would be that the frame isn’t guaranteed for life, but 15 years is a long time, especially for a budget elliptical.

Overall, the E618 is a nice model. It comes with some significant upgrades over the E616, which I think warrant the added cost. It didn’t quite make my list of best budget ellipticals, but it was close. Definitely a runner-up.

Will

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