Project Compact: Building Better Bikes for Smaller Cyclists


 By Standert Bicycles and MarksWalter


For many it’s a problem they thought they had to live with. Finding the right position on the bike as a shorter person can be a real challenge with success being uncertain.

We teamed up with MarksWalter and set sail to find the solution to this problem. And we found it. Project Compact geometries offer the best base to find your perfect position on the bike.

Bike Geometry for Short Riders
Standert Team - Project Compact

Using steeper seat angles and zero offset seat post makes it possible for smaller riders to sit less stretched on the bike without shortening the reach or the need to ride a very short stem as this negatively affects the handling characteristics.

This position is also better from an aerodynamic point of view.

Biomechanically a more compact position on the bike enables the rider to upright the pelvis and use their hips and leg muscles more efficient. A problem taller riders don’t have as bikes are proportionally shorter for them anyway.

Best Geometry for Short Cyclists
Best Bike Geometry for Short Cyclists
Photo by Pascal Schmitt


Starting a project like this you need a good team of experienced riders who you can rely on and who can give detailed feedback on what a bike feels like. Being well connected MarksWalter brought in a Dream Team of international riders who rode and raced the Project Compact prototypes for thousands of kilometers in all kinds of conditions and terrains. Here are four of them.

Road Bike for Short Riders

“Finally a stock geometry I can get down with! No more fantasizing about how I wish I could combine the stock geometry of most brands XS and S frames. I always wanted the top tube length of XS frames but the head tubes of the S frames. The Project Compact from Bastian Marks & Standert really does meet those needs without having to go custom."

Adam Masters, USA

Photo by Benedict Campbell

Ayse van Laethem - Project Compact

"Watching the progress from the initial idea, to riding this bike has completely changed my view on bike geometry. When you ride the bike you just simply know and feel the difference. For me what’s been the best change is that I find myself being on top of my bottom bracket to produce power instead of floating somewhere behind and the shorter top tube gives me greater steering capabilities.”

Ayse van Laethem, Belgium

Photo by Lukas von Monkiewitsch

Best Road Bike Fit for Short Cyclists

"Sitting more in front of your bike allows you to use the bigger musclegroups in the backside of your legs and the back - and it makes you more aerodynamic. So why not ride a Project Compact geometry with 1,78m body height?

When I heard about the idea I knew that I needed to ride one of these bikes. The theoretical knowledge about the position was confirmed in the first moment."

Pete Rumpf, Germany

Photo by Lukas von Monkiewitsch

Mason - Project Compact

"I've been riding a more forward position fit on the bike for the past 2 years, but to have a frame geometry designed specifically around that positioning has changed my perspective on road bike design forever. Every time I jump on the Kreissäge it brings a smile to my face, the bike is beautifully balanced with unparalleled stability and lightning fast handling that inspires confidence on high speed descents."

Mason Hender, Australia

Photo by Ben Lehner

Best Road Bike Geometry for Short Riders


Project Compact is not a new model. Project Compact are the optimized three smallest sizes of our bikes. First available as Kreissäge Rim and Disc and then in all new models we release.

Steeper seat angles make the rider sit further inside the reach, like that more weight is on the front wheel and the center of gravity is shifted to the center of the bike.

With this more relaxed posture it’s easier to ride in the hoods and the drops.

Very short head tubes force a lot of riders to use spacers under their stems. Our longer head tubes don’t. If there’s a need to get lower in the front you can still pick a negative stem. The longer head tube also gives the bike a much better balanced look. Plus the steeper steering angle gives stability in corners and fast downhills.

A lower bottom bracket and shorter chainstays improve the handling and make the smaller bike even more agile. As smaller cyclists are recommended to ride shorter cranks anyway the lower bottom bracket does not affect pedalling through corners.

Check out geometries and all other details of the new Project Compact sizes:

Kreissäge 2nd Cut Rim

Kreissäge 2nd Cut Disc

Kreissage - Project Compact
Kreissage - Project Compact by Standert
Kreissage - Project Compact by Standert Bicycles
Project Compact sizes left to right: 48, 50, 52
Project Compact Event


Thanks to Pascal Schmitt for the photos of the launch event of Project Compact

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