Episode 12 – Kameel Abdurrahman, Bike Fitting & The 3 Pillars of Bike Performance

Kameel Adburrahaman

Performance on the bike isn’t only about training the energy systems and getting stronger. It’s also about working to get yourself into a position of power for endurance AND performance on the bike. And in order to do that, you’ll need a bike fit from a great bike fitter.

Kameel Abdurrahman has been traveling around the world giving bike fits to riders of all ages and backgrounds. Highly experienced and heavily certified, Kameel has a fantastic skillset, and great knowledge to help riders of many backgrounds and needs dial in their positioning on the bike to keep them strong, fast, and comfortable for the miles ahead.

In todays episode we talk about how complex, and yet how simple, a bike fit can be, what considerations one should be taking, and why working with an experienced bike fitter is so instrumental to your ridding success.

You can find Kameel at MotionFit.net, or on Facebook

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In this Episode:

  • Kameel Abdurrahman
  • Trends of Fits
  • Assessment
  • Primary Muscles for Cycling
  • Lack of Strength/Balance and Effects on Fitting
  • Upper Body Exercises
  • Positioning Coaching
  • “I Wanna Slam the Stem” – Looking Pro
  • Hypotheticals
  • Bike Fitting and Handling
  • How to Find a Professional Bike Fitter
  • Conclusion

Apple Podcast




Show Notes:

0:43 –

Kameel Abdurrahman

  • Travels the world for bike fitting and helping people move right
  • Understands that it’s not about the bike, but it’s about the human being
  • First started as a triathlete and then started coaching
    • As a coach, he started to notice that some of the athletes’ lack of performance on the bike was due to the fitting
    • He went back to school and now works primarily to fit bikes
  • He continues to travel around the world to be a resource to them
  • “My goal is pretty simple – I want to make people happy on their bike” – Kameel
  • He went to a lot of different schools for bike fitting to learn more about their different philosophies and how he could utilize those philosophies in his practice
    • “One philosophy doesn’t fit all the clients” – Kameel


7:17 –

Trends of Fits

  • Retool is truly a tool that allows fitters to help the client
  • It depends!
    • Everybody is so different
  • ~10% of his clients are “perfect” in terms of body angles
  • We’re not symmetrical
  • “They have to be open-minded first” – Kameel
    • You have to allow the body to adapt to the new position
    • Make sure you have a good fitter
      • Call and ask how long they’ve been fitting and how often
      • You want someone who is up to date and utilizes new knowledge in their practice
      • “The fitter needs to be a rider as well to relate to their problem” – Kameel
  • In evaluations fitters look at flexibility and mobility
    • Flexibility = how you can stretch a muscle
    • Mobility = joint range of motion
  • Fitters aim to understand the biomechanical engagement with the bike
  • “The body is like a spiderweb – it’s all interconnected” – Kameel
    • Are the muscles firing correctly?
    • Is your muscle balance correct?
      • Can impact performance or potential injury


15:02 –


  • “The assessment starts right when they walk into the practice” – Kameel
    • Look at how they walk, sit, and their posture
  • At the massage table assess range of motion and get their medical background
    • It’s important for clients to share all of their information/injuries even if it happened a long time ago because it could still be affecting them
      • “If you do a fair and detailed assessment, you will discover that” – Kameel
  • It’s crucial
  • “The bike to me is not important” – Kameel
    • It’s the person that matters the most in the assessment
  • “I always utilize my tools to prove me wrong” – Kameel
    • He positions the client on the bike according to their assessment, and then utilizes his tools to prove himself right or wrong
  • Flexibility vs. mobility
  • Flexibility comes from the muscles
  • Mobility is more complex because it integrates the joints and range of motion


22:48 –

Primary Muscles for Cycling

  • Most clients come in with overused hamstrings and lower back and under-utilize glutes
  • Primary muscles: hamstrings, glutes, and lower back
    • A lot of people bypass the glutes, which can increase the risk of injury
  • “Just because you’re doing a squat or a movement, does not mean you’re executing it properly” – Menachem
  • “We spend 90% of our time in sitting position and inactivating the glutes” – Kameel
  • About 40% of the major force on the pedal should be coming from the glute
    • 12:00 – 5:00 on the pedal
    • Decreases performance


28:56 –

Lack of Strength/Balance and Effects on Fitting

  • Upper body
    • Biceps and triceps are important on the bike for you to maintain your back and pelvis position
    • “Everything is connected so you need to make sure your upper body is up to par as well to maintain that position” – Kameel
  • Core
    • Not just your abs, it’s also your hip flexors and your back
  • “Strength training is crucial” – Kameel
  • The external obliques tie into the pectoralis major and the glutes
    • “The glute-oblique connection is very strong” – Menachem
  • A lot of clients don’t know how to sit on the bike, hold the shifters, or bend the elbows
    • “You want to teach the client how to engage properly on the bike” – Kameel
  • Upper body can really benefit cyclists and triathletes
    • You need it to control your body and handlebar position


38:47 –

Upper Body Exercises

  • Push-up
    • Done correctly and controlled
    • Quality not quantity
  • Elbow planks
    • With proper hip placement and technique
    • RKC planks = max effort planks


41:19 –

Positioning Coaching

  • Teach how to rotate the pelvis, hold handlebar properly, position the hands from the top to the bottom, and engage with the bike accordingly
  • Ride in the saddle, don’t just sit in the saddle
  • Saddle mapping: layer between the saddle and client that utilizes technology to show pressure and back rotation
  • 4 pillars of finding happy medium: bike fit, strength, power production, and positioning
    • Flexibility is another component
  • “The main job of the muscles is to protect the joint, number two is to stabilize the joint when an adjacent joint moves, and the last is to move the joint” – Menachem


48:32 –

“I Wanna Slam the Stem” – Looking Pro

  • The costs tend to be greater than the benefits
  • Do you have the flexibility, mobility, and strength?
  • Look at the data – power and heart rate
    • “Data doesn’t lie” – Kameel
    • There might be better ways that you can become more aerodynamic
      • Aerodynamics comes last
        • Also affected by shoes, clothes, and weight
  • Website: motionfit.net
  • “It’s not the lowest that matters – it’s making you comfortable to produce that power” – Menachem
  • You have to educate the client
  • “I’m a parent – so when a client come in I am thinking, well this could be my child – what are the long term effects to their body?” 
    • Sometimes it’s not worth it


57:17 –


  • A client wants to get a fit from Kameel and then return to become as aerodynamic and fast as possible:
  1. You must have strength, flexibility, and mobility
  • If you don’t, you need to see a professional to get you there first
  1. Skin suit, helmet, aero wheels, and a good bike to start with
  • Independent bike fitters are typically neutral when it comes to brands
  • Recommend what equipment is necessary
  • 23-year-old has a bike and the frame size fits. He’s saved $789 and is contemplating getting a bike fit with Kameel and 1 or 2 pieces of used equipment or power?
    • Getting them in a safe position on the bike is a long term benefit
    • Riding for power without ensuring that their bike is fit properly is a recipe for potential injury
    • But it’s almost 50-50 – it depends


1:03:40 –

Bike Fitting and Handling

  • Bike handling skills are significant especially for preventing injury
  • Bike fitting will help clients engage with the bike directly and correctly
  • “It comes down to confidence” – Kameel
  • Create a “plan of action”, achieve those goals, and them come back
  • Progression fitting: it’s based on who you are and how you progress


1:07:35 –

How to Find a Professional Bike Fitter

  • “No different from any other professional service” – Kameel
  • Do your research
  • Find a connection and someone you trust
  • Call them and ask them questions
    • How many fits have you done?
    • What is your philosophy?
    • How much time do you spend dedicated to continued education?
    • Do you ride? What type of bike?
  • Kameel provides money back to clients if they’re not satisfied
  • Red flags for bad bike fitters:
    • If they’re trying to sell you more pieces than they’re trying to adjust
    • If it’s not in a well-established location
  • They only get better with experience
  • Advice to potential bike fitters
    • Practice
    • Keep learning
    • Be humble, open-minded, and always be willing to learn
    • Never think you know everything


1:14:25 –


  • Where can we find you?
    • Website: motionfit.net
    • Facebook: Motion Fit


Picture of Menachem Brodie

Menachem Brodie

Coaching since 2000, Menachem Brodie has been working with athletes in a number of settings, and a broad variety of sports.


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