You’ve had a great swim and now its time for your triathlon bike transition. The first thing that will happen when you first stand up at the end of the swim is that you will have a moment of dizziness.

It’s usually fairly brief and it’s also quite normal. Don’t forget you have basically been laying flat throughout the swim and need a few seconds to regain your equilibrium.

triathlon bike transition

The bike transition area

The very first thing to remember…and it’s important.


This is not a good strategy and serves no good purpose. If you had a calm, relaxed swim and have come out of the water feeling very good about the way your swim turned out you have a great start to the race. This is no time to accelerate your heart-rate for no good reason.

If you were a pro and a 90 second Ironman transition is important to you then that’s different. But chances are very good that you are an age-grouper just trying to survive the Ironman and simply do the best you can.

Remaining calm is an awesome beginning to your triathlon bike transition. You will be going into the second leg of the race with confidence. More importantly, you are relaxed and your heart-rate is not all out of control. Your breathing is even.

THAT’S GOOD!! Keep it like that throughout the entire triathlon bike transition. Don’t get excited and try and rush. Your first mission should be to finish the race anyway you can and become an Ironman.

At this point rushing to save 15 seconds will hurt you more than it helps. If this is your first triathlon or Ironman, just take it easy, enjoy being part of this incredible event and reach the finish line.

There are plenty of years and races ahead where you can start worrying about shaving off minutes in the event that one day you are after a magical spot to Kona.


As soon as you stand up and have your balance, remove your cap and goggles. Follow the others towards the wet-suit strip area.

As you walk, reach around undo the small velcro pad covering your zipper, grab the cord and pull the zipper all the way down on the back of your wetsuit.(And no, it shouldn’t be on the front like one guy I saw).

triathlon bike transition   -heart rate monitor

Try and keep your heart-rate low and controlled

Pull the wetsuit off your arms and pull it as far down to your waist as you can. When you approach the two wetsuit strippers, lay down(on the grass I hope) and they will each grab one arm of your wetsuit and pull it off.

When you stand up, they will hand it to you..Normally it is your responsibility to take care of your wetsuit, goggles, and swim cap and ensure they go into your run bike bag once you empty it.!

While carrying your swim gear, walk toward the bike gear racks and you will be given your bag. If it’s busy, get it yourself.

You should always know exactly where your gear is located before the swim, so that when you reach the triathlon bike transition area you will have your bearings. I always count the rows beforehand so in all the transition confusion I know exactly where my transition bag is in the event the volunteers are swamped.

Once you are in the bike transition tent empty your bike gear bag and put your swim gear in that bag. A volunteer may help you. Don’t worry about the bag.

triathlon bike transition

Know where your transition bag is

Just leave it and it will magically appear after the race. Don’t worry about losing your $500 wetsuit. I have never heard of one going missing in the transition area and Ironman volunteers are normally very well versed on what they have to do.

I found that the best system is to have ALL your equipment in that bag. Including helmet and shoes.

I used to leave my shoes with the bike and most times they were not where I left them and the bikes are very close together and things get kicked around in most triathlon bike transition areas. It may be awkward to wear shoes from the tent to your bike, but big deal. You should be taking your time anyway and not trying to run.

Walk and don’t run at a good pace with a longer than normal stride to your bike. This is just to stretch your legs out a bit for the coming bike ride.


It’s really best if you don’t grab one of those drinks on the way out or begin eating the moment you are on dry land. Give your system time to adjust. There are those who have their own ideas about this and begin eating right away. However, there is a risk of starting out the bike with an upset stomach.

Make sure your helmet is on properly. Next, take your bike to the bike mounting area. Find a bit of an open spot if you can. This area of pretty well any triathlon bike transition can get quite congested.

This is especially true in the Ironman if you have an average swim time. There will be many people rushing and accidents happen here, so be alert.


When you get on your bike click in one pedal before you push off. Then push off, and click the other in when you start moving.

Don’t make the mistake of pushing off with both feet out of the pedals. Sometimes you just can’t get them clicked in right away. Always try and have at least one locked in when you push off!

triathlon bike transition

Be cautious leaving the bike transition

Once you start moving, you have to keep moving. There will be bikes everywhere and people will be riding like drunken sailors. Some will still be dizzy from the swim, some will be stabbing at their pedals and not paying attention and some will be in far too big a gear and will be out of control.

Always leave your bike in an easy gear BEFORE the swim. This is what I call your leaving transition gear.

Congratulations!! You have completed the triathlon bike transition and are well on your way to reaching the Ironman finish line.


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