Cycling FAQs

Cycle track

A round-up of FAQs, useful tips and interesting facts for your track cycling experience at the Arena.

What clothing do I need to wear?

Don't worry about purchasing any professional clothing during your first sessions riding the track. It's essential that you stay safe and comfortable during your sessions. 

  • Helmets are required for all track cycling activities. Please note that no MTB peaks are allowed on your helmet. We do have helmets that can be used free of charge.
  • It's a good idea to wear two layers of clothing, especially on your top half. 
  • Padded cycle shorts would improve your comfort when riding the track, however, they are not essential.
  • Stay away from wearing loose clothing as it may get caught up on something. Similarly please ensure that all laces are tucked away in your shoes or socks.
  • All our bikes require clip in cycle shoes, which are available for hire in a range of sizes. We use Look Keo pedals for our bikes at the Arena, providing that your cleats are in good state of wear, you will be able to wear your own clip in shoes. 
  • We also recommend wearing gloves or track mitts for rider safety.
  • For safety reasons we would highly advise you wearing either clear or very light tinted sunglasses/glasses. 

Are there bikes available for hire?

Yes, there are track bikes available for hire.

How old do children need to be before they are allowed on the track?

For all sessions riders will have to be 12 years old or over and already be proficient cyclists. During the first sessions, children will also be introduced to track etiquette, which they will need to follow for health and safety reasons. Some school group activities are available for children from the age of 9.

I am riding my bike to Derby Arena, is there anywhere to leave it safely?

Yes, you will be able to lock your bike outside the Arena.

Please be advised that if you are riding with cleats you will either need to use cleat covers or have recessed cleats to gain entry to the reception and cafe area. Alternatively please bring a spare pair of shoes with you if you wish to walk around the Arena.

What time shall I arrive for my track session?

Please note all riders will need arrive for their session at least 30 minutes before the start of the session to ensure you get your equipment and yourself ready for the session. It is essential that you report to the cycling D at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the session to receive the safety briefing from the coach. Failure to do this may mean you miss the safety briefing and therefore are unable to take part in the session.

The safety and welfare of the group is paramount to Derby Arena, therefore anyone who doesn’t adhere to the coaches instructions and is putting the safety of themselves or others in danger will be asked to leave the track and will not be refunded for the session. 

Track bike storage

If you're looking for somewhere to store your bike safely then look no further, we have the perfect facility for it. Our cycle hub has secure storage units available for hire. By storing your bike and equipment with us you will avoid the hassle of transporting it back and forth for track sessions. Even more, this option will provide you with a peace of mind, knowing that you bike is safe. 

Can I ride my own bike on the track?

The Arena reserves the right to inspect your bike and equipment prior to use. Please ensure your bike is clean and meets the specification for the track. 

If your bike or equipment is not suitable for your activity, where possible, you will be able to hire a bike or equipment at an additional cost.

If you choose to use your own bike/equipment, you do so at your own risk and the Arena will not be liable for any damage or loss to it while it is at the Arena.


Cycling helmets must be worn for all cycling activities. All helmets must meet the applicable British safety standard (currently BS EN 1078:1997).
Your helmet must not have a peak or anything attached to it if you are using the Velodrome track. 

Bike Specification

The specifications required for Derby Arena’s track are:
- only purpose made track bikes may be ridden on the velodrome track (road bikes can be ridden subject to approval for aerodynamic testing sessions)
- the bike must be in good condition and undamaged
- the bike must be the correct size for the rider
- a fixed wheel drivetrain
- 165mm (170mm for pursuit) cranks with 280mm (11”) or greater bottom bracket height (measured from floor to centre of bottom bracket)
- the frame must not have braze-ons or extraneous fittings
- the frame must have track ends
- tyres/tubulars must be in good condition
- tyres/tubulars must be 21-25mm wide
- tyres/tubulars must not have coloured tread
- tyres/tubulars must be cleaned before entering the track
- no dual compounds are permitted
- tyres/tubulars must be correctly inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications
- tubulars must be correctly glued and not taped
- new tyres/tubulars must be cleaned with white vinegar or isopropyl alcohol prior to use on the track
- the wheels must be of the same size front and rear
- the wheels must be spoked (not disc) for all taster and accreditation sessions
- the handlebars must be drop bars and have bar tape/grips and bar-ends (aerobars are permitted only in specific sessions)
- brake levers or callipers must not be fitted
- spare sprockets must not be fitted to double sided hubs
- quick release wheel axles are not permitted
- wheel axles should not extend beyond the track nuts
- mandatory gearing for all riders on taster sessions - 84” (47x15 or 50x16)
- the chain tension should be tight enough to avoid derailing but not so tight it ‘binds’ the drivetrain
- chain, sprocket and chainring should not be excessively worn
- devices such as bike computers or digital displays must not be visible to the rider whilst riding.

To make sure your track bike meets our track requirements, please get in touch with our cycle team in advance of your visit, by emailing