I love transitions as it means I am finishing one discipline and starting the next one. But unfortunately, this sort of excitement is also what makes triathletes forget about a couple of simple rules.


The strictest rule I have seen during transition is regarding the helmet. You should fasten it before taking your bike out of the rack and remove it only once your bike is back on the rack after you have completed the bike course.

For obvious security reasons, the race officials are intransigent here. So it is not a place where you want to save a couple of seconds.

I have also seen athletes forgetting to remove their helmets during the second transition. It is pretty funny to watch them start running and coming back 🙂 Be aware that it is forbidden to do the run course with a helmet.

It might all sound stupid if you haven’t done a triathlon yet, but those mistakes can happen relatively fast with the race’s adrenaline.


Clément in front of a dismount line
The dismount line of my 2nd triathlon

A physical mount and dismount line will separate the transition area and the biking course. Those two will be placed at a different location in most races, hence the importance of checking those before the race.

Here are the exact rules from the ITU:

“Athletes must mount their bicycles after the mount line by having one complete foot contact with the ground after the mount line.

Athletes must dismount their bicycles before the dismount line by having one complete foot contact with the ground before the dismount line.”


Each triathlete has a designated place in the transition area. Make sure to use your space only and not interfere with one of your neighbors.

In some races, you will have a box where all your belongings need to be inside. In some others, you will need to use your own bag. During the race briefing, you will learn a lot more about the specifics. Sometimes, you must put all your gears in a bag before leaving the transition to avoid receiving a time penalty.


Since my first race, I have worn a tri-suit, so I never needed to change clothes. I was actually wondering how other athletes are doing. The rule from the ITU is crystal clear: “Nudity or indecent exposure is forbidden.”

This means you will either need to battle changing your clothes with a towel or go to a restroom. Some of the biggest events will have a gender-specific tent where triathletes can change clothes. To avoid surprises, I would highly recommend checking the athletes’ guide of your specific race beforehand.

It might be easy to forget some essential rules with the adrenaline on race day. So my wife and I summarized in this article the 10 Must-Know Triathlon Rules That Are Easy To Forget. Have a look at it!