Shimano XTR Brake Pads F01A G01A G03S G03Ti
Shimano offers both metallic and resin brake pads for XTR XTR M985/988 (and XT) brakes.
For most uses, I hugely prefer the resin pads because they offer better modulation, and in the areas I ride, brake wear is no big deal.
The resin pads are the “G” series, the metal pads are the “F” series. Each comes standard (G, 'Race') or with the metal heat sinks (F, 'Trail'):
- G01A resin ('Race'); (update July 2015: these might be G02A now according to one reader).
- G03S metallic ('Race');
- G03Ti metallic ('Race'). Saves a few grams on the metal backing.
- F01A resin with the Shimano “ICE Tech” cooling fins ('Trail')
- F03C metallic with the Shimano “ICE Tech” cooling fins ('Trail')
The pads with the cooling fins weigh about twice as much, and cost a lot more. The cooling fins simply are NOT needed in the vast majority of situations, though on very long and very steep descents they might be useful.