EDIT 8/10/16: Chrono numbers have been added.
EDIT 9/10/16: Some alterations have been made to the cage + flywheels segment.
The two surface finishes are smooth (the ones I have), and serrated (with grooves cut into the flywheel). I personally think that the idea of putting cuts or grooves in flywheels is completely ridiculous and is a recipe to dart destruction, so I went only with smooth ones.
Using my really rubbish super cheap calipers (which I doubt can even be called calipers), I measured a difference in diameter of around 1mm between the stock and Artifact flywheels, with the Artifact flywheels being larger (Artifact wheels measured at their thinnest point). A set of real calipers will naturally yield a much better measurement.
A direct comparison of the different surfaces of flywheels. Note of course that the stock flywheel on the left has some foam residue on it. While the Worker flywheel has a diameter about the same to the Artifact flywheel, the Worker wheel is serrated and so has an inconsistent diameter and doesn't develop a foam buildup.
Something that concerns me a little about Artifact flywheels is the inconsistency in weights and general shape. Each of the above pictures are of a different truncated flywheel. Flywheels that do not match well in mass and geometry perform significantly worse than well matched flywheels, and also produce a much louder and harsher noise. With the truncated flywheels I was a little lucky, as I ended up with two sets of weight matched flywheels.
The plastic that Artifact flywheels are made of is slightly malleable and soft, in contrast to the extremely rigid and tough plastic of Worker flywheels. As a result, Artifact flywheels are much easier to attach to and remove from motor shafts, and also slide on and off much more smoothly. The downside however is that Artifact flywheels are also easily bent. During my initial testing (as you would know if you keep up to date with my Facebook page), I ended up bending some of the flywheels slightly. Not enough to be visibly noticeable on their own, but enough to be distinctly obvious when on motors and enough to actually prevent them from working. I was able to bend them back, but nevertheless it was a little disturbing to see just how easily they could be deformed by hand.
There was also a significant amount of variance in the shape and machining of the Artifact wheels. Some of the wheels had shaft holes slightly off centre, and several of them were not even fully round. These naturally lead to severe issues, with poor balance leading to extreme vibrations and harsh noises, and inconsistent shape leading to inconsistent and reduced performance.
Here's a set of the truncated flywheels in my Stryfe. Besides trimming that lower feed ramp slightly, no other modification was necessary. Note that this Stryfe has already been rewired and currently has Blade 180/-3240 motors.
I've tried truncated Artifact flywheels in both my Stryfe and Elite Rayven with stock cages. As mentioned before, the Stryfe has Blade 180/-3240 motors, while the Elite Rayven has Black Dog/Pig 130s. Performance with a good set of truncated Artifact flywheels in a stock cage (in my Elite Rayven) is quite good. Accuracy is roughly comparable to having Worker flywheels, if not perhaps a little better as the foam starts to build up. Spinup time is noticeably increased as mentioned before, but with 180s the difference is minimal. I heard a much more significant increase on 130s so that may be something to be aware of.
The flywheels in my Stryfe are not very well shaped, and are noticeably not round or level. Even with these unbalanced flies however, performance seemed quite promising. Accuracy was naturally pretty poor due to the poor shaping, however when it shot well, it shot really well.
At the October MHvZ event, my Elite Rayven was averaging just over 130fps with used G3 pink Kooshes, on par with my Rapidpistol with Worker flywheels. Considering that the Rapidpistol has no faux barrel at all and the Elite Rayven quite a long length of it, this would suggest that the truncated Artifact flywheels do beat Worker flywheels for muzzle velocity, though by a relatively small margin. It was the same story with FVJs, the Elite Rayven achieving roughly the same muzzle velocity as the Rapidpistol, despite its much longer faux barrel.
Note that the stock cage pictured here is from my now Bullpup Rapidstrike. It is similar but not identical to a Stryfe cage, and itself has also been slightly modified.
While stock flywheel cages secure their motors purely by friction, the Artifact cage secures them with two screws. The cage includes 8 such screws. Just about every 130 or 180 sized motor has these screw ports, and when screwed in the motors are very secure. I used spare screws from my Blade 180/-3240 sets as they were longer, for added peace of mind.
I had one issue testing the Artifact cage + flywheels set, that being my only spare faux barrels are "rifled" inside, and so sent Kooshes on whirlybirds far too often to be useful. As a result, I was only able to test the cage + flywheels without my brass guide with FVJs and USCs. In terms of accuracy, it performed fairly well, certainly far better than any stock cage + flywheels setup I've seen. It also appeared to achieve noticeably higher muzzle velocities than stock cage + flywheel and at very least comparable to stock cage + worker flywheels, though I didn't have a chrony on hand to verify. Torukmakto04 however has a set of data of the Artifact Red Cage + Smooth Flywheels in a Stryfe, with Blade 180/-3240s for flywheel motors. His data is extremely impressive, consistently above 140fps with new G3 Kooshes, which is beyond any single stage flywheel build I've seen.
Like with the truncated flywheels, spin up time is noticeably increased with the heavier Artifact flywheels. The Artifact cage however helps keep vibration down, and so the noise produced is a much cleaner noise than from any of my stock cage flywheel builds. It produces a much more refined high pitch whine, rather than the typical roar of flywheelers.
Performance with the brass guide reinstalled was very impressive.
Muzzle velocity with G3 Kooshes is quite good, averaging just below 130fps from my Bullpup RS. Removing the brass guide would likely eliminate the small difference in muzzle velocity between this set and the truncated flywheels in the Elite Rayven. With FVJs however, I was seeing a 10fps drop and an increase in variability with the brass guide compared to the Elite Rayven, which I will be investigating.
Interestingly, I was actually getting universally better performance without my 19/32" brass guide. Muzzle velocity with both FVJs and Kooshes seemed improved slightly, however more importantly consistency was also significantly improved, and accuracy did not seem to be affected.
The Artifact flywheels and (straight) cage have impressed me greatly in performance. The muzzle velocity they achieve is quite impressive, and the cage is a very nice piece that really helps refine a flywheeler (provided it's a Stryfe or Rapidstrike, since those are the only two compatible blasters). I would definitely recommend the truncated Artifact flywheels as the best stock cage replacement flywheels in terms of raw muzzle velocity. They easily match or beat Worker flywheels for muzzle velocity, and are much easier to attach to and remove from motor shafts. The full Artifact flywheels + straight (red) cage combo is also extremely good, producing a ridiculously high muzzle velocity for a single stage flywheeler, while also producing a much nicer noise and quite good accuracy. I would definitely recommend the full set if you're doing a Stryfe/Rapidstrike build and intend to go all out on it.
However, the variance in weight and shape is very disturbing and annoying. The severity of it is often enough to significantly affect a blaster and drastically increase vibrations and inconsistency. It's taken far too long for me to set up my two sets of truncated flywheels as best I can, and yet neither of them is particularly well balanced. My set of full flywheels is fine shape-wise, so perhaps weight matching is the only matching required for those. The shaping issues are blatantly obvious in noise, performance inconsistencies and watching them spin. I would recommend ordering several spare sets of flywheels so that you can pick the best shaped and balanced ones to achieve best performance and the least vibration. That in itself is rather annoying and very time-and-money consuming, and also wasteful. I'm inclined to suggest that Worker flywheels are much better balanced as a single set, as both of my sets were well balanced and shaped, however their performance is not quite as good as with Artifact wheels, and the shaft tightness is extremely annoying and painful.
Exact chrono data can be found here: link