Bikes of DerbyWheel: meet the machines on riders’ shopping lists

Keirin racing in Japan and Korea is generally synonymous with narrow-tubed, steel-framed bicycles which, in the rest of the world, would be considered vintage museum pieces.

With the reintroduction of Girls Keirin in 2012, Japanese women were permitted to ride on modern carbon fibre frames. DerbyWheel will continue that trend towards more modern machinery.

DerbyWheel riders will compete on carbon frames, either the Dolan DF4 or Novacorona Fierté, driven using SRM PM9 Pro power meter cranks, and other components chosen from a list of approved items and suppliers.

But there will be no discs or deep-section carbon rims, only traditional spoked race wheels.

Riders can choose their own gearing, but will be subject to a maximum according to their Class. Those in the A and B Classes will be limited to 110 gear inches, equivalent to 53×13 or 57×14. In the elite S Class, riders will be allowed to go up to 116 gear inches, 60×14. Although most people would find those gears huge, some prospective DerbyWheel participants have been complaining that it’s lower than they would like.

Riders will purchase their bikes, components and equipment themselves; but DerbyWheel has offered to cover the initial cost, deducting it from future prize money.

Dolan DF4

Based in the northwest of England, Dolan Bikes was founded by Terry Dolan in 1980. With velodromes all over the world offering the company’s entry-level Pre Cursa as a hire bike, many cyclists’ first experience of riding on a track will have been aboard a Dolan.

Launched in early 2014, and boasting the same geometry which carried Team GB athletes to Olympic success, the DF4 was the first commercially available track frame from the UK to receive UCI approval. It’s a testament to its innovation and durability that it remains a firm favourite of track riders more than a decade later.

Reviewing the DF4 in 2017, Cycling Weekly called it ‘by far the best-value carbon track bike on the market’. It has now been deposed at the top of Dolan’s range by the DF5, at a price more than double that of its predecessor, but much closer to the market ‘going rate’ – which only goes to underline just how great a bargain the DF4 has been.

It is available in sizes from 51 to 61cm, with a claimed weight of 2.10kg for a 55cm frame with fork, and a maximum tyre width of 23mm.

Novacorona Fierté

Japanese manufacturer Novacorona is a much more recent arrival in the industry, founded in November 2017. The Fierté, meaning ‘pride’ in French, is the company’s second model to receive UCI approval: first revealed in the summer of 2021, it was certified in May 2022.

The Toray T1000-based frame was developed with the demands of sprinting on 250m tracks in mind. Its smallest model is just 46.5cm; responding to market demand, they recently added an extra-large 61cm to the range.

Novacorona has been linked to DerbyWheel since 2022. The Fierté was on display at the Melbourne, Seoul and Manchester induction sessions. Novacorona is operating a website at, for the purchase of Fierté frames and other components: a banner states ‘Only derby wheel player shipping’.


Velobike hardware at the Adelaide Track Nations Cup (Zac Williams/

New Zealand’s Velobike has become a mainstay of track sprinting in just a few years. Riders at all levels rely on the company’s extreme Longboi stems, available in lengths up to 200mm, to optimise their positions within UCI rules. Their trademark white diagonal stripes are a common sight on everything from pedal straps to carbon frames and components.

Velobike recently added a DerbyWheel page to their website, listing a number of items including their track sprint handlebars, listed as DerbyWheel registered, and heralded as ‘official bars of Derby Wheel’ in an Instagram post.