While there are a couple of Nautilus treadmills on the market, you won’t be missing a thing if you never ever come across one.
The inventor of Nautilus equipment, Arthur Jones, started the company in 1970. By the time they expanded and launched the signature Bowflex line in 1986, the focus was on strength training machines and the company became the first manufacturer to design circuit equipment. Eventually Nautilus branched out into cardio equipment including exercise bikes, elliptical trainers, and treadmills.
Nautilus, Inc. (NYSE: NLS) has acquired several brand names over the past 20 years including Bowflex®, CoreBody Reformer™, Universal®, Stairmaster®, Schwinn Fitness™, and Schwinn®.
In 2010, Nautilus sold the licensing assets for Stairmaster and Schwinn’s indoor cycling commercial products to Fit Dragon, Inc. but kept the Schwinn home cardio products.
Nautilus and sister company Schwinn share their treadmill designs. Currently, both brands offer two treadmills each which are identical except for the color of the cosmetics on the console.
The Nautilus T614 (which is also the Schwinn 840) offers a 2.75 hp continuous duty motor, a 20" x 55" walking area, a 12% incline, and a soft-drop folding frame. It sells for around $1499.
The Nautilus T616 (which is the Schwinn 870) has a 20" x 60" deck, 3.0 hp (cd) motor, 15% incline, and more programs than the T614. It is priced at around $1,799.
While reviews find that these are decent treadmills, they have weak warranties, and unfortunately are fitted with the least attractive console of any treadmill made. If the poorly designed console doesn’t turn you off, the tiny LCD windows provided for feedback definitely will.
Despite weathering some difficulties in the recent recession, when the Vancouver, Washington state-based company lost $90 million worldwide in 2009, the company has seen some recovery now that the commercial line has been discontinued.
While Nautilus treadmills are reasonably priced home machines, they don’t stand out from the competitive pack of manufacturers who place their sole emphasis on building treadmills. If you want the best machine for your money, go with a primary treadmill manufacturer, and don't buy from a company that not only makes treadmills on the side, but just a few years ago was ranked last by specialty fitness dealers who were asked to evaluate the customer service of equipment manufacturers.
The strongest treadmill design from this corporation is the TreadClimber® by Bowflex, and not anything that carries a Schwinn or Nautilus badge.
Nautilus T614 - replaces the T514 with an enhanced display, NautilusConnect workout tracking and new cushioning system.
Nautilus T616 - replaces the T516 with a dual display, incline capability, workout syncing and a generous number of workouts.
Nautilus T514 - An entry-level model with a short warranty from a struggling company that should stick to home gym equipment.
Nautilus T516 - An over-priced model from a company not known for producing quality treadmill products.