The paper examines the effect of various motivators, barriers and policy related interventions (i.e., personal, social and physical–environmental factors) on bicycle commuting in Dares-Salaam, Tanzania. The research shows that these factors have different effects on people depending on the stage of change of cycling behaviour these people are in. In particular, the effects vary among people in the early stages of change of cycling behaviour (pre-contemplation and contemplation) and those in the late stages of change (action and maintenance). Importantly, results indicate that addressing physical barriers alone is likely to have little impact on encouraging bicycle commuting. More specifically, the research shows that perceived motivator variables (e.g. low bicycle price, quality of bicycle, cycling training, and direct cycling routes) are strongly associated with bicycle commuting. Physical barriers including weather, absence of safe parking at home and at work, lack of bicycle paths and water showers at work places as well as personal barriers like social status, social (in)security and not feeling comfortable on a bicycle have the most negative influence on bicycle commuting. Policy related interventions like exemption of bicycle import tax, car congestion charges, and guarding bicycles at public places have a strong impact on bicycle use. The study findings provide a clear understanding of the key influencing factors which can serve as an empirical basis for development of more effective targeted measures to encourage modal change.