Trek 820 Mountain Track is the standard of which to judge the cheap bikes:
The blue one was for sale at $85!
Mint condition steel 520s like the orange one are more expensive.
I just goggled images of a steel Trek 820 so that $85 Blue one may not be a recent sale.
Many different versions of the 820 exist from different years. The later ones are alloy. You will prefer the steel. These early ones have a threaded 1" steerer but they're sound bikes for the price. People have been around the world on steel Trek 820s.
I don't think you need a suspension fork for road riding. I don't use one myself.
Brand new bikes costing under $100 don't even compare to the quality of decent bikes from the 20th century that cost a lot more back in their day but are now out of fashion.
Brand new suspension forks on brand new bikes costing under $100 for the whole bike can't be worth having IMHO. It just isn't possible to make a reasonable suspension fork for that money, and the other components would be made even more cheap to hit the price point. A rigid fork will have less lateral flex and twist, as well as take less of the budget so that the other components can be better.
*some mechanical skills are needed to know the good from the bad and to perform necessary maintenance before using non-mint condition old bikes.