This is my first post on here. I will try to be as specific as possible, but I'm also new to bike maintenance, so apologies for any wrong terminology.
I have a Giant ATX 2 from 2017, bought second-hand quite recently:
I'm in the process of servicing the headset, but it turned out the stem was pretty well rusted on. It took quite a lot of whacking (with a rubber mallet) and twisting the lock nut etc. to get it free. I'm now looking at the stem on the forks and wondering whether it's worth trying to sand it down and regrease it etc. or if I'm just better off getting new forks. I know they're not great forks (SR Suntour XTC that come with the bike), but I'm trying not to shell out too much if possible (hence getting the bike second-hand).
This is the state of the stem/forks:
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance, Jamie