OPI Stem Fin

Cannondale has issued a voluntary recall due to a potential issue they found with their OPI Stems. Through continued testing they discovered a possible safety issue regarding how the OPI stem attaches to the fork’s steerer tube and wants to eliminate the issue by getting ahead of it. No accidents or injuries have been reported and Cannondale already has a solution in place.

Full details after the break.

 

OPI WedgeOPI Wedge 2

 

From Cannondale:

At Cannondale, the quality and safety of our products are of paramount importance. We build world-class bicycles, components and parts for riders who demand the highest levels of performance. During the course of regular testing, we identified a potential safety issue with the OPI stem/steering tube assemblies used in certain Mountain Bikes. We informed appropriate regulatory authorities and, while there have been no reported accidents or injuries as a result of this, we decided it would be in the best interest of our consumers to conduct a voluntary recall of the part.

From model year 2011 through model year 2015 Cannondale used OPI stems on certain Mountain Bikes. Some OPI stems were also sold as aftermarket stems. Testing has shown that the nature of the connection between the base of the OPI stem and the top of the steering tube results in a reduced fatigue life. This could lead to fork failure, with risk of a serious accident or injury. To address this risk, all OPI equipped forks must be fitted with a special wedge kit that locks and reinforces the threaded connection between the OPI stem and the steering tube. This remedy restores appropriate fatigue life.

You can identify that you have an OPI stem that is being recalled if the words “OPI” are printed on the top of your stem. You should stop riding your bike immediately and bring it to your nearest authorized Cannondale Dealer to have the part replaced at no charge. Call ahead to make your appointment and you should be in and out quickly. It should take less then 30 minutes to install the new part.

We know that it might be a hassle to have to take your bike off the trails to do this, but your safety is important to us.

19 comments

  1. Smitty on

    “You can identify that you have an OPI stem that is being recalled if the words “OPI” are printed on the top of your stem.”

    or you can just look at it. If it looks like an OPI (pronounced “Opie”) stem, then it is an OPI stem.

    Reply
  2. Mike on

    “No accidents or injuries have been reported and Cannondale already has a solution in place.”

    So… no reason to do it in other words. Sounds like Cannondale covering their butts, and nothing else.

    Reply
  3. Tim on

    @Mike- yeah, it’s terrible when a company sacrifices profits in the name of safety before a real problem even appears. It’s so selfish and brutal.

    Reply
  4. Charlie Best on

    seems to me it would have been easier to replace the steerer tube and stem with the clamp on style that doesn’t suffer from this issue.

    Props to Cannondale for looking after their customers though.

    Reply
  5. Mike on

    @Tim @pfs I’m not saying Cannondale is wrong for doing this (I happen to like Cannondale quite a bit), but these stems have been out a long time now and presumably taken many hours of real-life pounding, and “no accidents or injuries have been reported.” Remember when Trek had steerer tubes on its forks sheering off? That’s a problem. Given the number of OPIs out in the wild, I hardly even see a problem here to be remedied.

    And what the heck is “restores fatigue life”? A new stem would restore fatigue life, but not sure how my already fatigued part is supposed to get its fatigue back. “Extend fatigue life” maybe? Can a MechE can tell me? I’m the wrong kind of engineer for this.

    FWIW, I have an OPI stem on a Cannondale Flash. This isn’t just a theoretical issue to me.

    Reply
  6. greg on

    There could be no accidents or injuries, yet mechanics could still have found cracks in the threads during regular servicings, such as when removing the fork to send for service. The cracking could be gradual enough, and the Lefty service interval short enough (insert lefty quality joke here) that this was found before anything catastrophic happened.
    Personally, I wonder how much this really applies to their current, revised OPI with the steerer tube thread flange and interior spacers.

    Reply
  7. donald on

    as a owner of two opi stems. I am not sure I want that part installed in them. 1 it doesn’t look simple or light. Two it almost seems as it could stress the stem. Or is that the install tool. Really confused here!? Are these stress’s not happening because of removal with the ernie tool kt02 that you smack up there with a hammer to remove the opi from the frame?

    Reply
  8. Mike on

    @Cheese Ok, I misspelled “shearing”. But yeah, there was a rash of Trek steerer tubes shearing off back about 5 years ago.

    This –> “To address this risk, all OPI equipped forks must be fitted with a special wedge kit that locks and reinforces the threaded connection between the OPI stem and the steering tube. This remedy restores appropriate fatigue life.” makes it sound like they install the wedge on existing OPI stems.

    This –> “to have the part replaced at no charge” makes it sound like they replace the OPI stem, but does not mention the wedge.

    In a nutshell, I read the release as saying Cannonade would install a wedge, not as saying that Cannonade would replace the stem and also insert a wedge. I fault the poorly written press release. On other sites, only replacement wedge kits are mentioned, along with decals to indicate augmented OPI stems, but not that stems will be replaced. Anyway, I still don’t know what exactly Cannondale is doing in this recall.

    Reply
  9. MaraudingWalrus on

    I’ve got one of the kits in my hand right now. It weighs 45 grams, according to our scale. It’s not that heavy. I did not weigh the stickers it came with, so add .1 grams for that. Then I guess it might be heavy.

    Reply
  10. Tom on

    I’m not saying it’s a bad idea, but I don’t see how the wedge can “restore fatique life”. Any damage or fatique that has occurred cannot be undone; the most the wedge can do is halt or slow additional fatique and thereby reduce the likelihood of failure.

    Reply
  11. Dmitry on

    New F-Si, Scalpel, Habbit have no OPI Stem. Their new stems look like traditional, except 1.5 diameter of steerer tube. Does it mean that OPI system (OPI stem + OPI steerer) is wrong way of evolution?

    Reply
  12. Manuel on

    Totally agree with Dmitry.
    Recently lauched 2016 Cannondale Catalog doesn´t show any bike with OPI Stem. One of the most attractive features of this bike are the Lefty and OPI Stem, and now Cannondale it´s taking off the OPI…. sounds very strange to me…. Why is Cannondale putting away such a great design if the already have the solution… Or maybe they Still doesn´t??

    Reply
  13. Lucio on

    I note some strange things with this system. With wedge, I listen lots of cracking sound comes from the front. Without it, the sound was gone. I’m not sure if I should take off the wedge that comes with my bike. What do you think? IMHO this is just an unnecessary part.

    Reply
  14. Dmitry on

    Lucio,
    it sad to hear it. I think, if you hear cracking sound, the threaded connection of these two parts (steerer+stem) not so stiff and the wedge inside the sterrer does not resolve the problem completely. May be the wedge is not installed peoperly or may be the wedge is useless. In any case cracking sound is not good, because in length of time playing and rubbing parts is breaking each other, loosing the connection.

    Reply

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