Honestly, I have studied some of the older bikes, like highwheelers and the safeties and even the racing frames used by 6-day racers like Major (Marshall) Taylor... and I honestly thought most of the early bikes were designed by luck and a prayer.
Sharp shows how much engineering knowledge was known about bicycles at the early parts of the 20th century. No wonder bikes were the precursors to --the automobile, --the airplane, --Harleys!
Concerns about bottom-bracket flex, weight distribution, climbing efficiency, transmission systems, steering control, comfort, stability at speed, etc. are all covered. Various materials and their pros and cons are covered (but back then exotic materials were bamboo and heat treated rolled steel!).
If you are an engineer or have a good background in math, you will be entertained by the incredible amounts of analysis presented in the text. If you are just a techie bike geek like me you will still enjoy it without breaking out the calculator to verify the formulaes. There are lots of 'pretty pictures' and well explained concepts to inform and entertain anyone interested in the fundmental engineering priciples and concerns of bicycles.