When a ferromagnetic metal (F) is in contact with an antiferromagnet (AF), often a shift of the hysteresis loop away from its normal, symmetric position around H=0, to HE≠0 does occur. This phenomenon is known as exchange bias (EB). We put forward an analytic model, for compensated AF interfaces, based on the AF interface freezing into a metastable canted spin configuration. The EB energy is reversibly stored in a spring-like magnet, or incomplete domain wall, in the F slab. Our theory yields the right values of HE and its F thickness dependence HE∝tF-1. It also predicts the F layer by layer magnetization profile. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.