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  1. #1
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    New OPI stem driving me nuts.

    Hi need some pointers.
    I did change my stem for a 10 mm longer version.
    As I was going I thought, hey a small update, a new OPI stem.

    This thing is driving me nuts.
    I've done everything to a T according the manual and torquing as printed.

    After 50km it starts to "sing" and to rock, as if the 2 pieces are getting loose.
    Somebody an idea ? And yes I did put grease as specified where requested.
    I even went to buy a new torque wrench to be sure of the values.

    I want to resort to Loctite but before doing, has somebody a clue as what could be the culprit.

  2. #2
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    Try wrapping Teflon tape around the threads of the lower steerer. It can provide more consistant coverage than grease.

  3. #3
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    Haven't come up with that, sounds good.
    Will try tomorrow.

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    put some grease , again

    large quantity

  5. #5
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    The more I think of it, the more the OPI stem is not a good design.

    Seems I'm not alone with the problem, not only does it "sing" but exacerbate the bearing play when nearly EOL.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MirFlash View Post
    Hi need some pointers.
    I did change my stem for a 10 mm longer version.
    As I was going I thought, hey a small update, a new OPI stem.

    This thing is driving me nuts.
    I've done everything to a T according the manual and torquing as printed.

    After 50km it starts to "sing" and to rock, as if the 2 pieces are getting loose.
    Somebody an idea ? And yes I did put grease as specified where requested.
    I even went to buy a new torque wrench to be sure of the values.

    I want to resort to Loctite but before doing, has somebody a clue as what could be the culprit.
    Mine does the same thing. I have re-greased several times but after 3 or 4 rides I can detect a subtle knocking or creaking. I believe the previous XC3 Si design is more OPI than the current OPI stem anyway. I do like the looks of the OPI stem but have replaced it with the old. Feels more solid and no more creaking.

  7. #7
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    Well a friend of mine has thrown his on the Bay.

    I'm actively pursuing the search for an old design "real" OPI in the desired length.
    And the bay will also grow with 1 new item in the listings.

    When function does not follow form

    To be complete after 50 km I get the same, first start to creak, and then also starts to rock.
    Saturday at the end of the ride 120km, I was making more "noise" than a silent Giant of nearly 20 years
    Last edited by MirFlash; 06-15-2011 at 02:10 PM.

  8. #8
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    Did you guys get a chance to try the Teflon tape. It would be a shame to get rid of a good stem if it is an easy fix.

  9. #9
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    Have talked to my LBS, he wouldn't put the PTFE on, so I will repeat the procedure again with grease, grease and grease.
    And as a fellow rider told me last week, he is giving his a last chance, but for him the culprit are the bearings.
    Mine have 3000+ now, with the old SI no problems, seems that the new OPI does not appreciate. Although feeling it does not look to have play, anyway don't understand why we would have play at handlebar due to tiny play at lower bearing, upper bearing feels as new though.

    So we'll post next week, anyhow should you have a 110 -5 SI on the very cheap PM
    Last edited by MirFlash; 06-17-2011 at 05:12 AM.

  10. #10
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    Just re-installed the OPI stem with teflon tape. Seems OK for now. I'll see if it lasts.

  11. #11
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    Had to bring this thread up again!

    Well, I have had my new 2012 Flash 29er Alloy 1 for a few weeks now. Unfortunately, I quickly experienced the infamous OPI stem creak discussed here. Massive creaking that announces my presence to the world. So, I try the suggested tricks of teflon tape and lots and lots of grease. Seemed to fix the problem, at least on the road, but once off-road the creaking immediately returned with a vengence. Ok, I would like to make the world sing just like everybody else, but not while I am mountain biking.

    I cannot believe that Cannondale would not know about this problem after R&D testing on the OPI stem, and worse, I cannot believe that Cannondale would push it into the market with this problem. Cannondale even says in one of their manuals that one should not ride a bike with a creaking noise as it could signal a problem.

    I emailed Cannondale about this. Wondering if I will get a response. I will take it up with my local dealer. I do expect to have this problem resolved for a bike that cost a couple thousand dollars. It really is a shame as the Flash 29er Alloy is a great bike, and the Lefty is awesome. I hate to think that I would have to wear earplugs to have silence on my rides

  12. #12
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    The creaking is not the most annoying, it's when the knocking starts to chime in.

    I've done the PTFE "upgrade" at the moment nothing special to mention, 3 weeks now.
    Before that just with grease it was a good Lefty reset indicator/timer

  13. #13
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    teflon tape and large amounts of grease. This will take care of the creaking and popping.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by yoohoo View Post
    teflon tape and large amounts of grease. This will take care of the creaking and popping.
    Unfortunately it didn't for me. Tried grease and teflon tape. Works for awhile but creaking always comes back. The XC3 SI stem works much better for me. It's more solid and it's easier to install and remove.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by madog99 View Post
    The XC3 SI stem works much better for me. It's more solid and it's easier to install and remove.
    Does the XC3 SI stem eliminate the creaking completely or just make it more manageable? I noticed the instructions for it said to grease, grease, grease.

    I tried 2 layers of tape with lots of grease already. I'm about to wrap more tape along with more grease to see if it works any better, but somehow I don't think it will work.

    Edit: Tried it. Did not work. In fact, it is worse as it now creaks on the road in addition to off-road like it did before
    Last edited by Trigladius; 10-16-2011 at 11:16 AM. Reason: More info

  16. #16
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    Creak free...for now!

    Well, on my third attempt, I took off the teflon tape and just greased the hell out of it. I thought that if it still creaked after this I would just take it to the LBS and see what they could do. The good news is that it worked just like my first attempt at using teflon tape and grease. In fact, it seems better without the tape. The LBS had no grease at all inside the stem.

    Turns out that the creaking I was hearing yesterday during my ride off-raod was a secondary creak in the seatpost/tube. I finally noticed that there was no creaking while standing out of the saddle and could actually feel some creak vibrations in the seat post.

    Corrected the seatpost creak and, for now, I am creak free. Silence while riding...heaven I will keep my fingers crossed for luck that it does not soon return

  17. #17
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    Same deal; it was driving me nuts. Had the LBS grease it and 300+ miles later its about 90% better. Still occasional clicking but not annoying and constant.

  18. #18
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    I have found the best solution to this problem!
    After almost every ride I had to loosen the bottom lefty clamp and re-tighten with the BB tool to stop squeaking!

    1) Remove the front wheel and brake as per normal.
    2) Loosen the 2 lefty clamps that fit to the stem and bottom of the headset part.
    3) Remove the insert of the headset at the bottom with the Shimano BB tool. Take it out completely
    4) Remove the OPI stem from the top headset - wiggle it to get loose.
    5) Clean out ALL the grease, I mean everything from inside the OPI stem and the thread on the headset insert too.
    6) Apply a light grease (I use FinishLine Teflon on ONLY these parts - The bearing touch points of the headset and also top and bottom, the outside of the OPI stem ONLY - section that inserts the headset part, and then the insert from the bottom ONLY grease the bottom part that makes contact with the bearings and the Lefty clamp area. DO NOT GREASE THE OPI STEM INSIDE THREAD OR THE HEADSET INSERT TOP THREAD THAT GOES INSIDE THE OPI STEM!! THESE NEED TO BE CLEAN AND FREE FROM GREASE.
    7) Now the real trick. Use Copperslip!! YUP!! Apply a thin even layer of copperslip to the thread part only of the headset insert. Enough to cover all the thread with an even layer just enough to cover the it.
    8) Insert the the OPI stem into the headset at the top.
    9) Align the lefty and insert the headset insert from the bottom, starting the tighten the thread into the OPI stem with the copperslip in place.
    10) Align and tighten everything to torque standard, maybe just a tad more ;-) - but remember to centre the wheel before committing the lefty clamps.
    11) replace the wheel and tadaaaaaa....

    After your 1st ride, loosen the bottom lefty clamp ONLY and check the torque on the insert with the BB tool. Should all be good and tighten the clamp again.

    I just complete a 3 day stage race on a flash 29er. The thing was driving me crazy until I did the copperslip thing a month ago. Still even after the race it is not even giving the slightest of moans!

    COPPERSLIP!!

  19. #19
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    i use that stem too and i started hearing a creaking noise but i really tought it was from the lefty clamp or the carbon handlebars. so if you guys are saying youŽre getting those problems with the opi stem i belive itŽs coming from it too. i donŽt get any knocking. just a creak. with the bike at rest..if i push the handlebars down and fulling the lefty travel i can hear a creak. so i gotta take it out then and try to grease it too and take it solved cause i really like the looks of the opi

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trigladius View Post
    Does the XC3 SI stem eliminate the creaking completely or just make it more manageable? I noticed the instructions for it said to grease, grease, grease.

    I tried 2 layers of tape with lots of grease already. I'm about to wrap more tape along with more grease to see if it works any better, but somehow I don't think it will work.

    Edit: Tried it. Did not work. In fact, it is worse as it now creaks on the road in addition to off-road like it did before
    I had very bad luck combining teflon tape with grease. Either alone seem to work OK for maybe 50 miles. Then the creaking begins. The XC3 Si stem has never been a problem whatsoever.

  21. #21
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    Well..just updating..never solved the problem. IŽll try the Teflon tape now

  22. #22
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    Don't overdue the PTFE, otherwise nearly impossible to screw !!

  23. #23
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    don't overtighten the stem either, that caused a few issues for me when i replaced my bearings

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MirFlash View Post
    Don't overdue the PTFE, otherwise nearly impossible to screw !!
    Ok...just one turn all over then? and no grease with the teflon tape?
    Did it resolve your creacking issues?
    IŽll buy the teflon tape and at the end of the week iŽll try

  25. #25
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    Subscribed and curious if newer versions of this stem are out now? Have 2 Ultimate Scalpel 29ers down here with these stems and one creaks like crazy, other doesn't seem to be since I snugged up the steerer with the BB tool. Will take the other completely down and re-grease everything and see if that helps, if not will try the teflon tape.
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