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.

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