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RoadBikeReview Member
394 Posts
ericm979 said:
Those scales are not accurate. For example, mine says that I'm 6%. The one at my doctor's office says 11% on the same day. If you set your goal based on the scale, you would get different results depending on the scale you're using.

Using a scale that reads like my doctor's to set my body fat would be bad for me as I'm already pretty lean. But while the scales are not accurate they are consistent if you weigh yourself under the same conditions. Now that I know from experience what level of body fat I am comfortable with I can use the scale to monitor my progress.
I would not use those scales for anything other than a baseline or as tool to mark your weight loss (and where it's coming from). The scale I have even recommends this.

Plus, the cheaper ones do not have an athletic profile calculation which takes into consideration someone who is lean and fit. I've read there are much better algorithims in the "athletic build" scales which are accurate (accurate being a relative term).

I have one of the cheaper ones, and in race form weigh around 136-138, close to 5'9", with enough muscle you wouldn't call me a twig (yeah, it's all relative compared to non-cyclist). You would think my body fat % would be very low, but the scale consistently has me in the 14-15% range. It's not rocket science to look in the mirror and figure out this is way off, but I use it as baseline and look for material variations. I'm very conscious about losing more weight and the how the weight is lost (fat/muscle) as it affects my racing and this is at the edge of where my performance can hurt. The scale helps if I see any big variations and as I go from off season to racing form. Just make sure (as noted above) you weigh yourself at the same time...usually in the a.m.
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