Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, OH
Bikes: '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2015 Trek Domane 6.2 disc
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A skinfold caliper is the most accurate test that you can get outside of going to a clinic that does an immersion/displacement test. I've used those dual-handle electronic BF% meters before and ended up with some results that were 10% off from the results that I get wtih a caliper measurement.
In lieu of buying a caliper, you can do a tape measure multi-point measurement and get fairly close. This site does pretty well by taking age, weight, waist, hips, forearm, and wrist into account.
It's typically within 3% of what I get for a caliper measurement.
27% is a little high no matter what your height is. The American Dietetic Association lists 15-18% as the healthy range. I try and keep myself between 18 and 23%, and I've never had a doctor tell me that I was unhealthy after checking my BP, HR, and cholesterol levels. It's considered an "overweight" BF% by most standards, but as long as my other stats are OK, then I'm not worried. Take those into consideration when being concerned with BF%. You might be healthier than the 8% BF person in front of you at the grocery, because their cholesterol and resting pulse are through the roof.
"I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
- Mandi M.