The Nautilus T614 Treadmill is the entry-level model in their line of residential treadmills, inspired by the Nautilus fitness club line.
But how does this compare to existing bestsellers from companies like ProForm and LifeSpan, and what upgrades can you expect with the top-of-the-line T616?
In our Nautilus T614 review, we’ll be making important comparisons between all three treadmill brands, to help you decide on the best model for your fitness goals and budget.
Design and safety features
Released as part of their 2015 collection, the Nautilus T614 treadmill offers an impressive range of features for its price, including a 20″W x 55″L running area.
Even so, it faces stiff competition from the likes of Schwinn, ProForm, LifeSpan, and Horizon Fitness, some of which produce bestselling treadmills with hundreds of positive reviews.
Comparison with LifeSpan and ProForm
The 2.75 CHP motor is slightly more powerful than the other two models, both of which are limited to 2.5 CHP. This results in a more responsive tread belt speed, even at steeper inclines, making it a better option for interval training.
But just because one treadmill has a more powerful motor than another, doesn’t mean it has a higher belt speed. In this case though, the Nautilus T614 can be powered to 12 mph, while the LifeSpan is limited to 11 mph, and the ProForm 505 CST to just 10 mph.
However, the LifeSpan is not without its advantages, and its 2-ply treadbelt is an upgrade compared to the 1-ply belt of the T614 (Nautilus T616 uses a 2-ply belt).
2.5″ front rollers are fairly standard for a treadmill at this price, and it’s a feature that we see on all three models here. The diameter of the treadmill rollers has an influence on how smoothly the belt flows, so we wouldn’t recommend buying a treadmill with rollers smaller than 2″.
The Nautilus T614, ProForm 505 CST, and LifeSpan TR 1200i each offer their own unique Space Saver designs, folding vertically to help you make the best use of space.
The T614 also uses a SoftDrop design to limit the effort needed to raise and lower the running deck, with a strong construction and simplified design that resembles higher priced commercial treadmills.
One final feature worth comparing is the incline, where the T614 again fares extremely well, with its 12% gradient being an upgrade over the 10% of the ProForm, and equal to the 15 levels offered by the LifeSpan 1200i.
Also, to reduce the impact of your footfall and protect your joints, Nautilus have used a StrikeZone cushioning system inside the running deck. Its 4 hex cell design also reduces the impact on the belt, helping to increase its lifespan and reduce maintenance costs.
Whenever you use any piece of home fitness equipment, safety should be paramount on your list of priorities.
Modern fitness equipment companies recognize this, which is why we’ve seen everything from password protection through to locking pins and safety keys used on the treadmills during our elliptical and treadmill reviews.
Password protection tends to be a feature reserved for very high-end machines, and is a sought after feature for family environments with young children.
Unfortunately the T614 doesn’t have this feature built-in, but it does have a safety-key and tether cord, which is used to connect an item of your clothing to the treadmill console.
In the event of a fall or moving too far from the console, this would then detach, and the tread belt would quickly come to a controlled stop. The only advantage of password protection (seen on some Precor treadmills), is that the belt would never be able to move in the first place without authorization.
Nautilus T614 Treadmill – Features Summary
- Extra-large high-resolution blue backlit LCD monitor
- Charging USB port and data export to NautilusConnect.com or myfitnesspal.com
- 0 to 12 MPH
- 0 to 12% incline
- 2.75 CHP motor
- 20-Inch x 55-Inch belt
- 22 programs
- 2 user profiles
- Acoustic chambered speakers for big sound
- 2.5-Inch crowned rollers
- SoftDrop(TM) folding system
Display console features
One of the biggest improvements we’ve seen in recent treadmill design is the ability to set goals, track your performance, and discover actionable insights into your results.
So what does this mean for you?
10 years ago treadmills were a great way to walk, jog, or run indoors, but your results were only displayed on the screen, and there was no way to measure your progress.
But as technology improves, we’re now seeing treadmills like the Nautilus T614, where you can sync your workout data to a USB device, then upload it to NautilusConnect or MyFitnessPal.
Having this historical performance data to look back through and see how many calories you burned or how far you could run in 20 minutes compared to now can be a great motivator. But what if you could see when you surpass these goals without having to check your online profile?
This is something Nautilus have built into their latest treadmills, including the T614, in the form of ‘Goal Track Achievement Lights’.
So when you set a new record for the duration or distance achieved during a workout, one of these lights will illuminate.
In addition to the working tracking and achievement features, you still have many of the classic functions you would expect, like a backlit blue LCD screen, MP3 port for listening to music via the built-in speakers, and contact sensors for measuring your heart rate.
Heart rate monitoring
The T614 and top-of-the-line T616 both let you track your heart rate via a telemetry chest strap, and via the built-in touch sensors.
The only drawback with the touch sensors is that you need to keep hold of the touch sensors built into the handles, which obviously isn’t ideal when sprinting.
There’s only one difference between the two treadmills in terms of heart rate monitoring, which is that the T616 includes a chest strap, whereas the T614 does not.
If you don’t have the budget for a T616 but still need constant feedback of your heart rate without holding the grips, a Bluetooth chest strap that can sync straight to your mobile device can be purchased separately. (This one from Polar is recommended)
A few final console features worth mentioning are the 3-speed cooling fan, one-touch speed and incline control keys, and a matrix profile of your current workout program.
Workout feedback includes heart rate zone (must hold sensors), user profile, calories burned, time, speed, and incline. There’s also a media shelf if you want to watch a movie on your tablet while you run.
Workout programs and user profiles
The intuitive console layout and quick-select speed/incline controls make it incredibly easy to adjust the intensity of your workout. But if you would rather follow a set routine, the profile programs are your best option.
Each of the 22 preset workouts is split into 16 segments, each of which will automatically adjust the incline and belt speed to a pre-determined setting.
Workout program categories:
- Quick Goal
If you have a target in mind and want the freedom to adjust the intensity as the workout progresses, this is the program for you.
There are 3 goals available; Distance, Time, and Calories.
- Heart Health
This program is available at 4 different intensity levels; Healthy – 55%, Fat Burn – 65%, Aerobic – 75%, and Anaerobic – 85%.
These values are a percentage of your maximum heart rate, which is a calculation performed by the console based on the age you enter in your user profile.
After selecting an intensity level, the incline will automatically adjust to keep you at your target heart rate. The program will continue for as long as your heart rate is being received, either via the touch sensors or a chest strap.
- Weight Control
Fat Burn, Incline Burn, and Speed Burn are 3 programs designed with steady-state cardio in mind.
The maximum intensity level is lower than most other programs, which is designed to keep your heart rate at a moderate level, similar to the ‘Fat Burn’ heart rate program.
If you want to make the most of your workout time, interval training can be an incredibly effective way to burn the most calories in the shortest time.
The Nautilus T614 has 3 variations to choose from; one based on incline, one based on speed, and one that’s a combination of both speed and incline.
A choice of 3 programs, one performance based, one distance based, and the other designed to improve your endurance.
In contrast to the steady-state cardio provided by the Weight Control programs, these include the highest intensity levels of all the T614 workouts.
Despite the wide variety of preset workout programs on offer, if there’s a specific routine you want to follow, you can setup your own profile using the ‘Custom’ program. This lets you set when the incline and speed changes, and by how much.
4 User profiles
When you’re buying a treadmill, especially if it’s going to be used by the whole family, we always recommend a minimum of 2 user profiles.
The Nautilus T614 includes a total of 4 profiles, each of which lets you store some basic personal information that helps improve the accuracy of your workout feedback.
By starting your workout with a profile selected, this also means your workout feedback will be saved against your user, allowing you to review your performance.
What’s covered by the warranty?
- Frame and motor: 10 years
- Parts: 2 years
- Labor: 1 year