Peeing on the bike – A Triathlon truth


To pee or not to pee, THAT, is the question! Lets be honest, this is a topic which Triathletes don’t like to discuss openly and it’s easy to understand why.

Triathlons are endurance events and because of their duration, it’s not unusual for Triathletes to need to “go” at some point. So what do you do if you’re halfway through the bike section and just can’t take it any more? If you’re bladder is about to burst and you’ve got to go – do you stop and lose time, or bite the bullet and just let go?

The bottom line is that there are only ever 3 options available:

  • “Hold it” (uncomfortable and might slow you down, but usually possible)
  • Pull over and go (but loose valuable time)
  • Keep cycling and pee on the bike

Having spoken with many triathletes I was surprised to discover how many do actually pee on the bike. The logic is three-fold and simple:

(i) It’s ‘only a bit of pee’ and because you have been hydrating all day it’s practically water anyway.

(ii) Having spent months preparing for a race and working hard to improve your time, why would you make a decision that will cost you valuable minutes?

(iii) Nobody will ever know what you’ve done unless you advertise it!

When you look at the cold logic above there really is no argument. A quick post race dip in the sea will wash away any trace of your secret guilt and you can smile smugly while you think of the 5 to 50 places you may have saved yourself. But for many of us there is still the whole issue of not being comfortable taking a leak on yourself. This i’m afraid, is a matter of personal choice which only you can answer. (NewToTri draws the line at recommending readers actually urinate on themselves:)

There are some obvious factors which may help to sway your decision re: peeing on the bike. If you’re racing an important race to you then you may be more motivated to save time. If you racing a longer race you may be keen to avoid stopping and breaking your momentum and if you talk to other Triathletes you may discover that you’re in good company!

Whatever you decide to do is up to you but the bottom line is that many Triathletes have and do pee while on the bike to save time. If you do decide to pee on race-day, we recommend you practice it at least once while out training beforehand!!:o)

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2 thoughts on “Peeing on the bike – A Triathlon truth

  • April 10, 2012 at 9:20 am

    And don’t forget to remove water bottle from down or seat tube before letting go…

  • April 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Haha a VERY Good point!:)


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