SRAM xplr chain drop - what to troubleshoot?

I took my gravel bike on a fast group ride today. It did great except at the end - there’s a long slight downhill section where we pick up speed. There are a few manhole covers and similar objects but nothing of serious concern road wise. I lost my chain while in the smallest cog. I figure there wasn’t enough chain tension to keep it on the chainring. It might have hopped off when I stopped pedaling suddenly. Oh, I’m running a 10-44 cassette and a 44t chainring. SRAM Rival crank / chainring.

I checked the chain length - correct, perhaps on the short side. Maaaaybe I could shorten it? I just worry about going too short. I need to check the b gap. It looks fine but I have the tool on order to verify. Past that it seems like I’m considering a chain guide such as LoneWolf Aero Chainguide Braze-On Mount – Wolf Tooth Components I’ve seen some discussion of different chainrings for this problem but I’m a bit skeptical this would help since I’m running SRAM.

Overall I’m surprised that it was enough jostling to knock the chain off - seems like actual gravel riding would potential involve even more jostling. Oh, I should mention that I’ve had a couple hundred miles on the bike without trouble but this is the first roadie fast ride I’ve taken with it.

Any advice?

I’ve been on XPLR for a year on my gravel bike. I’ve dropped a chain once on some high speed washboards. I’ve ridden worse conditions without chain drop. It’s rare, but it does happen if the conditions are just right.

I wouldn’t worry about it unless it is a frequent occurrence.


Another thing to check is that when in the smallest cog the high side stop screw (bolt?) Is in the proper position. I.e. slightly pushing against the derailleur

If you’re riding an xplr cassette, remove the silencer rubber rings. Soon or more later they will try to ruin your race experience or a fast group ride because they live only in the dreams of their creators not in the real life.

I never understood the phenomena of the chain jumping over the cogs of the possibly one if the higher priced cassettes in the market untill I found crap of resin messed around the small cogs. ( Riding a Specialized Sworks Crux).

Wait, what are you talking about? Can you post a picture of these rubber rings?

I dropped my chain during my first CX race of the season this weekend. First time racing with Xplr after years of never dropping a chain with mechanical Force. So now I’m questioning everything! I’ve got a Wolftooth dropstop chainring, and a small chain guide that’s built into the Trek Crockett. So I don’t really understand how it happened on a pretty simple curb drop off. Makes me wonder if the wide range of Xplr means your chain is slacker than you might want it on the rough stuff. Maybe just a fluke and all in my head now! Lol :joy:

It hasn’t happened again since my initial post but I haven’t ridden that same stretch of road quite as aggressively either. I’m content to ignore the initial dropped chain for now. I’ll post again next time it happens.


Since my initial post I haven’t dropped a chain. This has included numerous washboards at race pace and MTB trails. I suspect my instance was just one of those freak occurrences. I wouldn’t worry about it and maybe just confirm that your chain is sized appropriately and the B-gap is correct.

1 Like

I had chain drop the other day and thought it was a fluke. today I had 3 chain drops! was riding on tarmac, so quite smooth and not bumpy at all. I’m riding a trek checking sl6 with rival axs xplr. this doesn’t look right. and the sl6 came with one of those chain drop guides

I noticed that going downhill without pedalling or even on the lowest gears on flats without pedalling too the chain was quite slack.

this driving me crazy. never had this issue before and first time using sram axs xplr.

Did you check your chain length? B limit screw,

+1 on checking chain length. Never assume that a new bike coming from a bike shop has the chain at the proper length. From my experience, it’s very common for them to be too long. A buddy of mine just got a new road bike and the chain was actually drooping a bit in the small/small combo (it was a 2x setup). Easy test on any bike without suspension, just wrap the chain around the big cog on the cassette and the chainring (not passing through the RD). It should be just long enough plus a couple links.

1 Like

I haven’t check chain length yet, but that’s a good idea and something I thought during the ride. apparently sram has a chain gap tool that would be handy when adjusting the B screw