Buying Guides Frames

The Best 5 Racing Frames 2017

This article was updated on Janurary 1st 2017.

Drone racing is the new form of aerial combat, and its big. I’m going to tell you what the best 5 racing frames are in this voltage-driven phenomenon.

Disclaimer: This is a list of my favourite racing frames. The drone community is riddled with different opinions of what is and isn’t the best flying equipment. In this way, many people will disagree with some of the frames that I have placed on this list – so please read this with an open mind and understand that these are my favourite racing frames but others may have different viewpoints.

1. Shrike

When looking to buy a racing frame, you need to find something which is fast, light and nimble. The shrike2_1xLabs Shrike ticks all of these boxes since it weighs less than half a kilo. This means that the frame has a rapid acceleration and is ridiculously responsive when turning. The Shrike is also really tough and despite crashing it a countless number of times, the arms have never broken. I also think that the integrated PDB is a nice feature since it removes clutter from the frame itself. This is my go-to racing frame and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone! The only downside is that the build is a little tight and therefore you will have to get creative when trying to fit everything onto the frame. For instance, I’ve found that mounting a full-size GoPro is simply not possible (without drilling and zip tying it to the front of the quad) and thus this may put some people off from buying the frame.

2. ShenDrones Krieger

If you’ve ever wanted a miniature rocket that fits in your pocket, then buy the ShenDrones Krieger. You will only fully understand the power that this little machine can produce when you actually fly it. There are two different models. The DTF200 static1.squarespacemodel spins 5″ props while the DTF225 spins 5″ or 6″ props. I own the DTF200 model. Its light weight (84g) coupled with its design (a minimal frontal area where all the weight is in the center of the frame,) means it has far less drag that a typical H frame. (Checkout ShenDrones’s {hilarious} website for the maths behind this.) Unlike other racing frames, I was able to strap a GoPro onto the Krieger with ease (although I would recommend a lighter FPV camera to minimise weight.) It has a thick 4mm carbon fiber base plate whilst the top is made out of a mix between 1.6mm and 2mm carbon fiber. I’ve crashed my frame more times than I would like to admit but I’m yet to see any cracks or snaps. It doesn’t take long to realise that the ShenDrones Krieger is built for speed – I found that it accelerates ridiculously quickly and it is sharp and responsive on its turns. This is generally an excellent frame.

3. MRM Switchblade 220

The MultiRotorMania Switchblade is a 220mm X style racing frame. The first thing you’ll notice about this frame is that the 4mm 1-piece carbon fiber base plate is really mrmswitchbladetough. I’m pretty sure an elephant could stand on this thing and it would still remain in tact. It is capable or running 6″ props and I’ve found that it handles really well – it turns like a dime when flying! MRM let you buy a 3D cover for the frame to protect all the electrical parts which is useful, however I found that there was a lack of space on the board itself and I spent an extra hour or two trying to figure out how to compact the PDB etc between the top plate and the bottom plate. However, once you figure it out, this thing flies like a dream.

4. Lumenier QAV250

Now I know what your thinking. Why is this old frame on the top 5. The answer is simple. This is the frame that I first used when I got into FPV racing. I think it is perfect for beginners who are looking for something reliable and quite cheap (there are a ton of second hand ones on the market that go for about 20 bucks) and therefore in my experience this has been one of the best frames for beginners who are looking to get into drone racing but don’t wan’t to spend lots of money on an expensive frame to 0000892_lumenier-qav250-angled-motor-mount-extensionsbegin.

The Lumenier QAV250 is a very old but popular racing frame. I own the 3K Carbon Fiber edition since it only weighs 122g (and as you know – shaving off as many grams as you can will save considerable amounts of time when racing.) It runs 5″ props and is very responsive when turning (it doesn’t have that “heavy” feel when you make a sharp turn.) The price lets this frame down a bit ($90) and so if your on a tight budget build, you may need to find something else.

As a side note, if you do decide to buy this frame then I would defiantly recommend buying special QAV250 case since it will protect your frame really well meaning you don’t have to worry about it bumping around and breaking in the car.

UPDATE: I personally like the Lumenier QAV250, but the rest of the community has expressed their opinion that this frame is old and almost debunked. Therefore I have decided to change this frame for another one of my favourites.

4. Über 180

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 12.30.35The Uber 180 weighs just 60g which means it is easily one of the lightest 5″ frames you can buy. It has an incredible thrust ration of 12:5:1 (which can increase if you create a lighter build.) This racing quad is really easy to build and you can put it together using quickly using zip ties meaning you can “leave your allen wrench at home!” Despite its light weight, it is also pretty strong. It is made from carbon fiber plates which decreases air resistance and weight simultaneously. To be honest, I haven’t used this quad that much since I prefer to use the Shrike. Nevertheless, its a solid little machine that is immense fun to play with!

5. SCX 200

Armattan are notorious for producing tough frames and the SCX 200 is no exception. main-image-03-22-2016_03-57-49Like the MRM Switchblade 220, the SCX200 is very strong since it has a 4mm bottom plate and a 2mm top plate. The SCX 200 is the first of many of frames from Armattan in the Armattan Lite series. I built mine using a Matek PDB since it only costs 10$, it fits like a glove in the center of the frame, and has both a 5V and a 12V regulator. This SCX 200 flies like a bullet – it is noticeably quick and accelerates faster than you’ll ever need it to go in a straight line. Nevertheless, I found that it didn’t ‘feel’ as responsive as the other frames listed above when turning. The frame itself is a beautiful cut (I love the little purple finishes) and will look as good on your shelf as it will do when flying.

Thanks for reading this article. What do you think the best racing frames are? Please comment and share below – thanks!


  • I understand it’s your favorite and 1st and 2nd and 4th for sure are top racing frames. #5 hmmm maybe somewhere in the top 10…. maybe

  • Im in disbelief that the XBR 220 by BlackBolt is not on that list… IMO it started the X-Frame craze with the 12:1 Thr/Weight ratio.

    • I don’t own a BlackBolt and so I felt that it would be wrong to put it on the list (even though our community raves on about it!) However, I ordered one yesterday and if it is as good as the community says, then I’m sure it will be on the next list!

Leave a Comment