I bought and installed a Continental Contact 700x42 tire but it ended up being smaller than the 700x42 Continental TownRide that came original on the bike. The Contact tire is about 36mm wide at the widest point; the TownRide tire is 42mm at the widest. The diameter also appears to be smaller.
I am a bit disappointed because I like the bigger tires because they flatten the dilapidated pavement here. I think I might end up returning the Contact tire because they're about 15% smaller than what I thought they'd be.
How do I tell if a tire will actually be actually close to 42mm when installed? I'm half-tempted to get the 47mm size, but I cannot seem to find them anywhere and if those are 15% smaller, the tire would still be less than 40mm. But I'm thinking if I go that size, I should maybe consider the the Schwalbe Big Apple 50mm.
The bike is a rigid hybrid Marin Muirwoods 29er, and at 30lbs for just the bike, speed isn't a huge issue for me. But since I'm looking at 42mm and maybe even 50mm tires, that was probably obvious.