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Thread: Creaky Opi Stem

  1. #1
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    Creaky Opi Stem

    I've started to get a creak from the OPI stem on my Flash Carbon 29er. It's only a few days old and didn't make a sound on the first couple of rides but now it has developed a creak when pulling or pushing on the handlebars. It seems to be coming from the stem / top clamp / top of the steerer tube area...is this a common issue?

    When I built the bike up, I removed the 3 spacers under the OPI stem but I'm presuming that shouldn't make a difference?...do I just need to just take it apart and regrease everything? I read somewhere that using copperslip can help?

    thanks for any help / experience with this.

    btw: the bike is bloody amazing to ride and I absolutely love the lefty!!!

  2. #2
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    grease, grease and more grease.

  3. #3
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    It's been discussed here:

    New OPI stem driving me nuts.

    I have tried wrapping the threads with teflon tape (as was suggested by another member) and it does help the creaking, but the problem does come back (at least in my case). The XC3 SI stem is a better design in my opinion. The only advantage I see to the OPI stem is the ability to adjust the stem height somewhat.

  4. #4
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    madog99: Interesting thread, thanks...Did you determine that the creak was definitely coming from the intersection of the stem / steerer threads? Mine kind of feels like it's the stem moving, maybe against the inner face of the top bearing?. There's an awful lot of leverage on it from the end of the handlebar...

    Thanks a lot for the advice guys. Will give the grease a go first.

  5. #5
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    I haven't found the culprit for sure, but a few EUR's later (replaced the bearings had less than 2K on them) problem seem to be solved.

    Don't know if the lbs has busted the Nm but with std prescribed Nm was impossible to calm down the "music".

    A friend who did the upgrade from XC to OPI gave up and has put up his OPI for sale.

    Personnaly, I'll see in the coming months, but from what I've heard some are real musicians and whatever amount of grease you put on, they still sing like their live depend of it

    PS : The bearings have a finite live, and some die really fast, which seem to emphasize the creaking. Know 2 that after 1 ride were shot !!
    New stuff, better ???

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the info.....Just taking the stem / steerer apart again...I like the smooth look of the OPI but I really do NOT like this interference fit stem / bearings which has to be bashed out very hard - too much potential for mistakes there (see the thread about this with the mashed fork clamp) I can see I now have to order the "Ernie" tool from the states but how many people really buy this? As far as I can see there isn't a good way to clamp in the workstand for this operation either!

  7. #7
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    The problem is the threads on the stem. They used a course thread, not a fine thread. The stem moves and causes the noise at the threads when under a load. Go to the older design and no noise.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dirty Burro View Post
    The problem is the threads on the stem. They used a course thread, not a fine thread. The stem moves and causes the noise at the threads when under a load. Go to the older design and no noise.
    Ah cheers, whilst it's unfortunate that it causes the creek, that's actually not so bad then, as it can be fixed without having to remove the stem.

  9. #9
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    I did the teflon tape and it fixed mine. Had to wrap it twice but it's been good for about a month of hard riding. opi stem is much more impact friendly.

  10. #10
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    OPI = one piece integration, then why Cannondale do we have 2 pieces, typical of marketing gimmicks, we had a one piece stuff but was shockingly not OPI so not up to scratch !!

    Regarding the "friendliness" of the new design, in essence crash is "rare" occasion, and the old design was not that bad, certainly if you crash rarely, but if youu crash at every ride then the new OPI is the ...

    Anyway, maybe already discussed in another thread, the OPI stem for '12 will come with a -15 design, good news. It took them quite a few years before fixing that !?

  11. #11
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    Just to say thanks for all the advice. The grease fixed it

  12. #12
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    Stuck OPI Stem

    Sorry to bring up an old post but I cant start a new one yet as I dont have the required 5 points.
    So I just got my first cannondale, a 2012 flash 1 29er and the my OPI stem has started creaking. When I try to loosen the bottom half of the OPI stem I get about 2-3 turns before it tightens up again and I mean tight like it doesn't want to budge at all, is this normal?
    Once you break the bottom half free should you be able to un-thread it the rest of the way by hand? or does the un-treading action kinda press it off a bearing like the front wheel does? and yes I have the lefty clamp bolts loose.

    Thanks

  13. #13
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    it should be quite easy to remove, as you say 'by hand'. it's the top part that can be a ***** to remove. nothing is ever simple! your dealer may have put some thread lock in there. i'd say if you're not feeling brave give them a call.

    good luck

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