Project X Cypher Shaft Review

50 Words or Less

New to the Project X lineup, the Cypher driver shaft provides a smooth, controlled feel with mid-section stability.  Consistent high launch and spin.  Also offered as an iron shaft for consistency across your set.

Introduction

Like other crafty names from Project X (think HZRDUS and Riptide), Cypher has intrigue but on its own doesn’t tell you much about the shaft.  The True Temper website starts with this simple description:  “The key to decoding distance throughout your bag.”  Clever.  And fortunately, as I’ve come to appreciate over the years, the website goes on to define the target golfer (deliberate tempo) and design characteristics (high trajectory and high spin).  The Project X Cypher is also billed as an ultra-lightweight design.  One final key aspect of the Cypher is that the shafts are available in both woods and irons, providing for consistency in feel and performance across the bag.  This review is solely focused on the driver version.

Looks

The ‘CYPHER’ graphic on the shaft perfectly captures the essence of the name with the interlocking notches and  thin green lines on the leading edges of the letters that give the appearance of coming into focus.  Further complementing the name, Project X wrapped a segment of interlocked geometrical squares around the shaft, again utilizing the color green.  If you like a well coordinated color scheme in your driver, the Project X Cypher shaft looks amazing in the Callaway Epic Speed [full review HERE].

Revealing itself when the light hits it just right is a band of graphite weave in the midsection.  The section adds some visual interest if you prefer a logo down setup.

Feel

The Project X Cypher driver shaft is designated as ultra-lightweight, but, with a weight range from 47 to 56 grams, the ‘ultra’ may be a stretch at the top end.  My typical stock driver shaft option with most OEMs falls around 55 grams, and the Cypher 5.5, at 55 grams, felt comfortably familiar.

Overall the Cypher shaft had a smooth, controlled feel that seemed fairly consistent.  It took some focus to sense a kick point about a third the way up from the clubhead.  Leaning into some shots, the profile remained the same – a positive note for those occasional tee shots where you really want to try and bomb a drive.  Turns out that graphite weave I mentioned above wasn’t just for looks, it was located to provide mid-section stability.

Performance

Reviewing my launch monitor data, the Project X Cypher was strong on high launch, but didn’t produce the intended high spin.  In fact, spin was on the low side but very consistent.  That said, the combination of high launch and low spin provided solid, fairway finding distance.

Expecting a more lively profile based on the description, I also tested the Project X Cypher driver shaft in Fifty 6.0 – for a few swings.  I quickly concluded that more stiffness was not needed and was not going to work well with my swing.  Based on my results with the 5.5, going down to 5.0 would have been a better choice and very likely would have brought up the spin numbers.

The Project X Cypher is also available in a Forty version with 4.0, 5.0, 5.5 and 6.0 flexes.  Weights in that series run from 47 to 49 grams.

Conclusion

If you typically shy away from an ultra-lightweight designation, you owe it to yourself to try the Project X Cypher wood shaft.  The stable mid-section contributes to a great feeling shaft that stands up to speed bumps.  Although my spin numbers were on the low side, the shaft still delivered the anticipated high launch.  And any shaft that keeps me in the short grass, well down the fairway is a winner in my book.

Visit Project X Golf HERE

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Matt Meeker

Matt lives in sunny Orlando with his wife who allows his golf obsession to stretch the limits of normalcy. He's also a proud coach with The First Tee of Central Florida who loves teaching kids about golf and life skills.

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33 Comments

  1. Tom Duckworth

    It reminds me of the Project X LZ graphite shafts. Do you feel there are similarities?

  2. michael joseph boyle

    69 of age and looking for the right shaft in grams of weight . Looking at this shaft. Distance around 210 at best. please advise.

    • Matt Meeker

      There’s no way to advise on this Michael – shaft weight is too dependent upon your swing. A proper fitting is required. Short of that you can only guess based on what weight currently works for you. You deserve the right shaft to maximize your enjoyment of the game – don’t short cut the process.

      – Meeks

  3. What was your swing speed for the driver shaft in 5.5?

    • Matt Meeker

      Looking at the Launch Monitor Chart above the Performance section, I was averaging 81 during that session.

      – Meeks

  4. Being a stiff midsection do you think there is a similarity between the cypher and La golf trono in terms of feel ?

    • Evan,

      I don’t have any experience with the Trono. Extrapolating feel based on one parameter between brands is big endeavor regardless.

      – Meeks

  5. If you were swinging at 81, what flex shaft were you using?

  6. Matt, I just ordered and received a set of the Halo iron (5 to DW) with Senior shafts. The set arrived today with 5.0a designation on the shaft.
    After researching some Project x websites, it appears the Senior shafts are 4.0 or 4.5 according to what Im reading. I think the shafts are rated regular. Can you please enlighten me as to whether I was sent the wrong shafts? Appreciate your response. Thank You.

    • Matt Meeker

      Joe,

      Club OEMs often have graphite shafts tweeked for their products. As such, it can be difficult if not impossible to match perfectly what you see on say Cleveland’s website with that of TrueTemper’s. That said, looking at the weights listed for the Halo shafts they fall around 60, which aligns with the 50i 5.0 on TrueTemper’s Cypher chart. Then three flexes offered around that weight class. The 5.0a designation on the shafts appear appropriate.

      Hope that helped – and enjoy the new irons!

      – Meeks

  7. Andreas Ball

    Hi Matt,
    Thanks for the interesting review! Great job.
    Would you recommend this shaft for someone who swings around 95mph?
    Your help would be very much appreciated.
    Andy

    • We don’t make shaft recommendations Andreas. And no one can blindly. That said, the Cypher can certainly handle your swing speed. But appropriateness has more to do with flex and profile and how those match your individual swing.

      – Meeks

  8. Andreas Ball

    P.S.: I’m talking about the Cypher Forty 5.5

  9. Hi Matt when you say should of dropped down to 5.0 is that senior flex or is that weight of the shaft

    • Matt Meeker

      The 5.5 and 5.0 designates flex. But weight also changes, which was really the goal of my comment.

      – Meeks

  10. Evan Slater

    I enjoy your writings. I am 73, a 9 handicap, and currently use an 8,5 degree Taylormade R580 driver with an Aldilla NV 65 R shaft. I hit it about 210. I tee it high and have no problem hitting the ball very high. I am considering getting fitted. In your opinion, should I stay away from the “high launch” and “high spin” shafts? Any advice you can give me? Thanks.

    • Matt Meeker

      My advice Evan is to go for the fitting as you stated. And let the fitter and the data guide you to the proper shaft. Generalities and opinions are no substitute. Getting dialed in with the proper clubs and especially shafts is the best way to enjoy the game. Thanks for reading.

      – Meeks

  11. Hi. I have a question for you regarding the project X cipher graphite shaft I presently use a 4.0 Forty shaft in my rogue driver. I want to get a used 5 wood and I’m considering the older epic max and I see that I can get it with a Forty 5.0 which they say is a senior flex. Do you think this would work well given the shorter shaft size.?

    • Matt Meeker

      The one problem I see with your theory is that it’s based on the 5.0 in a fairway wood just being a shortened version of a driver shaft. While that is possible, if it was a stock offering, its more likely a shaft designed and made for that length club. Thus a 4.0 driver does not equal a 5.0 fairway.

      – Meeks

  12. Tom, I’m grateful for your work here and I’m very happy to see your numbers are quite similar to mine with ball speed, spin and distance. I was afraid I was in a club by myself. That spin rate doesn’t look extraordinarily high to me, if anything that would seem to optimize your roll out though 17 degree launch is seemingly high. I’ve been trying desperately to gain back yardage with exercise, stretching and tinkering with shafts, loft and spin. FWIW, I recently bought a FGS Stiff shaft stock that came in and without measuring it, or doing anything to tweak it, put a new tip & grip on it and suddenly had ball speeds up 10 mph with 20 yards additional carry and roll. The shaft stock is 46” I believe, and I only paid $20 for it new. And oddly, I’m hitting it straighter and farther with less effort. Any observations?

    • Matt Meeker

      I’m not sure who Tom is, but I’m certain he’d say “if it works, don’t question it.”

      – Meeks

  13. Craig Streiff

    Matt,

    What did you see the differences between the Cypher & Riptide in the 5.5 regular driver shafts ?

    Thank You,
    Craig

  14. With a swing speed of 70 to 75 MPH — which senior shaft would you consider the best — the Riptide or the Cypher that would enable a higher flight with good roll out

    • I’ve never hit them side by side Robert. Short of trying them both to see which is best for you, all you can rely on is the general descriptors found on the OEM websites or gleaned from our reviews.

      – Meeks

  15. Mark Kuyawa

    Hi Matt,

    I did a PXG fitting last week and the Cypher 40 5.0 was recommended. Is this a senior shaft ? That is fine as I definitely am. Age 67 not sure of swing speed although was 70 with a 7 iron. Looking at Gen5 driver.

    Thank you !

    • Glad to hear you went for a fitting Mark. Project X doesn’t label their shafts with age divisions – which is a good thing. What might be good for a 67 year old may also be appropriate for a 15 year old. If you like the idea of it being a senior shaft – go with it. If you want to avoid that classification, erase senior from mind. The right shaft for you and your swing is just that.

      – Meeks

  16. Mark Kuyawa

    Thank you Matt ! Does the 4.0 mean 40 gram then?

    I really like the Cypher shafts. They seem to check the boxes for me now.

    • Matt Meeker

      Project X has a chart of all the key shaft parameters on their website. There’s a link at the bottom of my review. Weights are dependent on both the model and flex. The 40 4.0 is 47 grams.

      – Meeks

  17. Burton davidson

    Hi , what does the signage on my new 3+ Hi-wood from Cleveland mean “ Forty 5.0 A “ ? Also the signage on my new hybrid iron shafts are “ Fifty 5.0 A “ . Is my combo set properly matched w.r.t. the shaft ?

    • Matt Meeker

      The best thing to do Burton is check out the “specs” tab on the Cleveland Golf website. But basically, the Forty and Fifty refer to weight class. And 5.0 and A refer to flex – and typically you’d only see one of those. In your case the 5.0/A is for Senior flex. Iron shafts are typically heavier than woods, so all good there. Enjoy!

      – Meeks

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