Convertible Tandem to Single Travel Tandem - The 8-ball


8-Ball Picture
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"A travel bike built for two... I mean one... I mean two"
The Rodriguez Eight-Ball is unique in the cycling world. This custom tandem converts from a bicyle for two right into a bicycle for one by removing the middle of the frame, and setting it up once the frame is apart takes only a few minutes (once you've had some practice). As if that wasn't cool enough, you can take the frame apart to get it into cases safe and secure and small enough for plane travel!

The Rodriguez Eight-Ball comes with all the custom sizing you expect from a Roriguez tandem, free of charge, and the components we use are ready for the stresses of tandem riders working in, well, tandem. With 26" wheels the bike packs into cases for flying easily and allows us to build strong, durable wheels for all your tandeming needs. The Eight-Ball is available in 3 different frame designs for your riding and sizing preferences.

We've built Rodriguez Eight-ball tandems for several couples, including the Trickels who spent a year riding around the world on it.


Made in USA

Since 1997, the Rodriguez 8-ball has been the most versatile convertible bike on the market

The Story - When S&S couplings first came out, I immediately thought about a 'convertible' bike. One that would not only pack into a small flight case, but serve as both a traveler's single bike and a traveling couple's tandem bike. It made sense to me. I drew one up before we even had any couplings in stock. But, my head frame builder at the time didn't think it made sense, so we scrapped the project.

A few months later, our service manager drew up a design for a tandem that he could fit into a back pack. Our frame builder brought the design up to me (it looked very similar to the convertible that I had drawn), we combined the two designs, and with a few modifications, the Eight-ball was born.


Rodriguez 8-ball Models

Frame Rodriguez Tandem zonally butted cro-moly
Fork Rodriguez Tandem cro-moly
Shift levers Shimano Dura-Ace Bar-end 9sp
Brake levers Tektro Ergo
Brakes Our Patented Big-Squeeze®
Bottom Brackets Sealed Bearing
Eccentric Bushnell Retro pat. 8,070,633
Cranks Sugino Tandem Standard
Front Derailleur Microshift Road Triple
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore
Hand built wheels with 3-year warranty

26" wheels:

  • Novatec 36 hole tandem hubs
  • Weinmann ZAC19 36 hole rims
  • DT Stainless 14 gage spokes with brass nipples
  • 4 cross Lacing pattern
  • Serfas 26" x 1.5" Drifter tires
700c wheels:
  • Novatec 48 hole tandem hubs
  • Velocity Dyad 48 hole rims
  • DT Stainless 14 gage spokes with brass nipples
  • 4 cross Lacing pattern
  • Serfas 700c x 32c Drifter tires
Cogs Shimano Cassette 11-32 9-sp
Handlebars Kalloy Compact Drop
Captain Stem Alloy 1 1/8"
Stoker Stem Custom Rodriguez Adjustable
Head Set FSA Sealed Bearing
Bar Tape Black Cork
Seat Posts Alloy
Seats WTB Speed V

About the 8-Ball Standard

The Rodriguez 8-Ball is one of the most unique, innovative, U.S. made, custom travel tandems ever made. Initially introduced in 1997 as a new product, this bike has been a favorite in kind of a niche way.

Every year we get lots and lots of questions about the 8-Ball, and we usually end up building few. No two 8-Balls are the same. This model really has a rider base that is very specific about features, parts, etc.. The resulting designs are some of the most interesting and challenging bikes every made. The spec list is only the default parts, so if you want something different, no problem....just ask.

Common Upgrades for the 8-Ball Standard

PDF Spec sheet PDF Logo

Frame Rodriguez Tandem zonally butted cro-moly
Fork Rodriguez Tandem cro-moly
Shift lever Rohloff Grip Shifter
Brake levers Tektro Ergo
Brakes Our Patented Big-Squeeze®
Bottom Brackets Sealed Bearing
Eccentric Bushnell Retro pat. 8,070,633
Cranks Origin8 Alloy Standard
Hand built wheels with 3-year warranty

26" wheels:

  • Rohloff Speedhub 36 hole rear hub
  • Formula sealed bearing 36 hole front hub
  • Weinmann ZAC19 36 hole rims
  • DT Stainless 14 gage spokes with brass nipples
  • 2 cross rear, 4 cross front Lacing pattern
  • Serfas 26" x 1.5" Drifter tires
700c wheels:
  • Rohloff Speedhub 36 hole rear hub
  • Formula sealed bearing 36 hole front hub
  • Weinmann ZAC19 36 hole rims
  • DT Stainless 14 gage spokes with brass nipples
  • 2 cross rear, 4 cross front Lacing pattern
  • Serfas 700c x 32c Drifter tires
Cog Rohloff
Handlebars Kalloy Compact Drop
Captain Stem Alloy 1 1/8"
Stoker Stem Custom Rodriguez Adjustable
Head Set FSA Sealed Bearing
Bar Tape Black Cork
Seat Posts Alloy
Seats WTB Speed V

About the 8-Ball Rohloff

The Rohloff model uses the Rohloff Speedhub in place of front and rear derailleurs. This will save maintenance and packing time.

The Rodriguez 8-Ball is one of the most unique, innovative, U.S. made, custom travel tandems ever made. Initially introduced in 1997 as a new product, this bike has been a favorite in kind of a niche way.

Every year we get lots and lots of questions about the 8-Ball, and we usually end up building few. No two 8-Balls are the same. This model really has a rider base that is very specific about features, parts, etc.. The resulting designs are some of the most interesting and challenging bikes every made. The spec list is only the default parts, so if you want something different, no problem....just ask.

Common Upgrades for the 8-Ball

PDF Spec sheet PDF Logo


Rohloff Hub Graphic

Rohloff Speedhub

Did you know that Rodriguez is the number one Rohloff builder in the United States? The Rohloff drive train is the most popular option for the 8-Ball over the last few years. We've developed a clean way of incorporating this unique design into a versatile tandem/touring bike.


Along Comes Willie Weir

It wasn't long after that when Willie Weir and his wife Kat came to us about getting a tandem for their tour in Cuba. Willie is a world class bicycle traveler, columnist and KUOW commentator. He bicycles in places around the world that are obscure and amazing. After hearing about their plan, we decided that the Eight ball would be the perfect bike for them.

Willie was to go to Cuba first, and tour by himself for an extended period of time. Then Kat would fly in and join him. Our thought was that Willie could just take the 'single' configuration with him, and Kat could bring the pieces for the tandem conversion with her. This way, they wouldn't have an extra bike to try and store somewhere in Cuba. The plan went perfectly.

In the years since, we've built several of these bikes. Everyone who has one loves it. We've even had one customer add a 3rd section to their Eight ball, and now it's a travel single, a travel tandem, and a travel triplet! The versatility is amazing.

There's no better test for a bicycle design than having someone like Willie and Kat tour where there are no roads, bike shops, or spare parts. The Rodriguez Eight ball has proven itself to be a travelers best friend time and time again. I encourage anyone who thinks they would like to travel with a bicycle to consider this versatile design.

Own the original...own a Rodriguez 8-Ball
Willie with his single
Willie and Kat Building their Tandem
Willie and Kat with the Completed Tandem

Willie and Kat Converting their Rodriguez 8-Ball from Single to Tandem


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