I used a 32 in virginia and it was fine. In michigan I find that a 38T isn't even enough for me. I've been looking for something bigger but it doesn't exist for the bolt pattern of my cranks.
The 34 looks so close to the stays already!
I looked at 90 rpm mph and it was over 20, hopefully enough top end. We will see! (90 rpm bottom moved from like 4 to 7 mph in this range reduction).
old gears: 44/32/22, 11-34
90 rpm speed: max, 29.6, min 4.8 mph
new: 34, 11-42
90 rpm speed: max, 22.9, min 6.0
I could barely get my 38 mm touring bike up to 20 mph on the flats today. I will run out on downhills I imagine on the mtb once finished.
I don't have a feel for gear inches, but I think you've mentioned 'em before:
old scheme: 17.9-110.5
new scheme: 22.4-85.4