Rather than just going out to buy a complete bike I'm still trying to resurrect the Craigslist bike that I've been tinkering with. It was completely working except that the fork was recalled: Mongoose S20 bike, Ballistic 105 fork. I sent the fork back but have been a little stumped in finding a fork that fits properly as a replacement.
I read the performance bike FAQ and I think it's a threaded fork since the stem fits down into the steerer. Measuring the diameter of the steerer it's 15/16" so I guess I need to round up to make it a 1 1/8" fork. What about other dimensions? I need a MTB fork but do I need to specify it more than that?
So far I've managed to get a free fork that didn't fit the stem since it apparently is a 1" fork. And I've collected two bikes off Craigslist for $15 where one fork was completely rusted into the stem and the other had a suspension fork that was fairly questionable. At least I've managed to liberate the wheels, tires and tubes from the two bikes so it wasn't a total wasted effort plus I found a nicer kickstand for the bike.
Will my LBS look at me strangely if I ask them if they sell just used forks?