NYC CitiBike Token – What’s Inside?

Just got my new CitiBike token… and was wondering why it is so big? (I’m really wondering why I have to carry anything at all. Can’t I use a PIN code or unlock the bike via an SMS or something? Anyway..)

I don’t carry keys, so this giant token is kind of a hassle. Let see what’s in there…



(Yup, I am a founding member!)



Nothing but plastic and a tiny 11.5mmx11.5mm piece of white tape.

Peeling back the tape, we see where the magic happens…


I don’t envy the elves who have to solder those coil connections. I wonder if that extra single small loop near the top connection point is functional, or just an artifact of the construction process.

After a half hour bath in a capfull of alcohol, the tape slid right off…

Alcohol bath

And close-up of the newly liberated chip and coil…


The chip dimensions are 3.5mm x 2.2mm and it is labeled SY2U 272.

Tune in next week for instructions on how to do an RFID chip transplant!

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